In further response to Mr. Ted Tripp regarding illegal US immigration (See “Immigrants work hard, pay taxes” in March 14 Times), fortunately I was recently watching an old rerun of Perry Mason. One tactic in this episode I will employ here: Let's just go ahead and stipulate that everything Mr. Tripp outlined in his letter is and was true. (Now he was not there, was not a participant or victim but since it is on the Internet, well, there you have it, the whole truth.)

But wait, wait, wait! (I got that part from the infomercial.) If we Americans are so historically bad, why do immigrants want to come here and do so in large caravans? Surely they have other choices and possibly one that more closely shares their culture and language. Yet they still travel by the thousands, at great peril, to come and live with us. Could the rewards outweigh the risks? Could the good that Americans have done outweigh our "crimes?”

The US immigration problem is really a collection of many factors. Corporations are interested in cheap labor. Liberal politicians seek votes. Right-wing groups seek publicity and on and on. This nation cannot continue to exist with open borders and "catch and release.” Our leadership needs to do just that - lead to a fair resolution that provides border security with fair immigration policies for both migrants and American citizens. To me that includes walls, fences, border patrols, immediate medical care, food and shelter, work permits, asylum and for some, citizenship.

I recently had a wonderful conversation with the editor. He mentioned the (US) corporations that engage in hiring illegal immigrants. I have a solution for that. How about automatic IRS audits (five years back and five years forward) for the corporation and all of its officers and directors? Talk about fear, plus the treasury might make a little money!

In his letter, Mr. Tripp "cannot begin to understand the good doctor's assertion that these refugees are selfish.” It was satire, playing on his assertion that these folks were hardworking and good, and that the US was "stingy.” (If we don't want them here because we are "stingy,” then they are "selfish" for leaving.) He also employs satire, describing these folks as universally hardworking, except "one that drinks too much.” I guess we all have that "Uncle Charlie/Carlos" in the family!

Finally, I have enjoyed these "jousts" with Mr. Ted Tripp. He made some good points and hopefully, I provided an adequate counter. What we lack on the immigration issue, among other national issues, is statesmanship and honest debate. A wise man once told me: attack the issue, not the individual. Imagine what our leaders could do IF statesmanship took priority over political party. (I look forward to meeting Mr. Ted Tripp, and the first cup of coffee is on me!)

Dr. Mikel Tuten