August 24, 2008

We the People - Point of Contact

Re: "Point of Contact – Our Q&A with Carlos Quintanilla, president of Acción America," last Sunday Points.

Mr. Quintanilla compares Trinity Medical Center's reporting the presentation of forged documents with other local institutions' past performance on illegal hiring, but someone else's failure to report crime is no justification.

Mr. Quintanilla describes Trinity Medical Center's actions as aggressive. Reporting crime is not an act of aggression. Nor did Trinity Medical Center file charges and make an arrest as he stated. The proper authorities did.

Mr. Quintanilla confirms that people like María Martinez have been breaking the law by presenting false documents for decades – as if it is a mark against Trinity Medical Center. Even if a significant number of employers close their eyes to hiring illegal immigrants as Mr. Quintanilla states, most don't.

Mr. Quintanilla complains that because hospitals are designated safe zones, Trinity Medical Center should not have reported the crime. Hospitals are safe zones from crime, not for crime.

But enforcement should be consistent, as he states. All employers should say "no" to hiring illegal immigrants and report them to authorities, as Trinity Medical Center did. And one could argue that immigration enforcement is about as consistent and fair as enforcement of our other laws.

Finally, a suggestion to Mr. Quintanilla on more complete communication: If you will be so kind as to place either the word "legal" or "illegal" before every use of "immigrant" and "immigration," your ideas will be more clearly communicated. But I think you won't.

Neil M. Collins, Oak Point

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