Open Letter to Los Angeles City Council Member Janice Hahn

Published on May 14th, 2010

Open Letter to Los Angeles City Council Member Janice Hahn

Ms. Hahn:

The stand you and the LA City Council took in regards to Arizona’s law (a law to enforce a law) is completely inappropriate, particularly at a time when the city – for at least three years – has ignored the "writing on the wall" and chose to do no planning for the budget crisis that was headed this way. Don’t you have better things to do, such as actually running the city of Los Angeles? I am embarrassed to call myself an Angeleno.

What you and the City Council have done is political pandering at its worst and will fan the flames of division, further polarizing the illegal immigration debate at a time when real policy must be addressed. Driving a wedge between states is no way to govern. Are you trying to start a new Civil War with illegal aliens "fighting for the South?" You made the wrong call, and, according to an online poll at the LA Daily News, 85 percent of people agree with me. As well, nine other states are looking at Arizona-type laws.

Arizona, as you well know if only you were being honest, is trying to take on what the federal government has failed to do for years – carry out its responsibilities to American citizens. The federal government has failed to enforce existing immigration laws to the point that we now have perhaps as many as 30 million people living in the United States illegally, according to a study by Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS). That’s not 300; that’s not 300,000; it’s 30 million! Those numbers are staggering in their implications on so many levels. No other country tolerates such abuse of its borders, disrespect of its own citizenry and drain on its economy.

I find your use of "nation of immigrants" offensive as well, certainly hackneyed. The history of immigration is well-documented in this country, and I’d guess you’re familiar with that as well, again, if you were being honest. It involved a "process," which certainly is not what we have today. Today we have uncontrolled ILLEGAL immigration of as many as half a million people a year – the size of a large city. This includes both a sizable number of people overstaying visas in addition to the people who walk across the border.

As well, when you speak of a nation of immigrants, 100 years ago, the population of the United States was significantly smaller than today. In 1900, it was 77 million. Today it’s more than 310 million, and nowhere have I seen people such as yourself who support uncontrolled illegal immigration discuss how unending population growth can be sustainable for this city – let alone this country.

Further, if you don’t care about a sustainable country, how about a safe one? Pakistani-born Faisal Shahzad of recent failed New York bombing fame was in the U.S. at one point by way of an H1B visa for a position which didn’t seem to fit the standard of "highly skilled" worker, a requirement for obtaining this type of visa. Without getting into a discussion as to how the various special visas under our immigration policy are abused, I’ll skip ahead to the fact that ultimately Shahzad became a naturalized citizen, going on from there to connect with several illegals who are being sought by authorities in connection with this failed bombing attempt.

Just looking at this case as "anecdotal evidence," it seems kind of important to know who we’re granting the privilege of citizenship to and, broadly, who is in our country. As stated, we have potentially 30 million people living here that we don’t know. Yes, many are people just looking for a better life, but many are criminals. And some are probably terrorists, such as Shahzad who followed those who came before him and somehow scammed the system – think back to 9/11.

So if you think touting this City Council decision is some terrific rallying cry that will get you elected to Lieutenant Governor, I, for one, will tell everyone I know why NOT to vote for you.

Maria Fotopoulos

CAPS Senior Writing Fellow
Los Angeles, CA

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