A year and a day in America President Bush is once again attempting to address the issue of illegal immigration and once again certain segments of the American populace allow themselves to be blinded by bigotry or politics. Pundits from both sides of the political fence have decried the guest worker policy. Whatever the solution, the simple fact of the matter is that it would be in the best interests of the United States to keep those who are already here, even if they came illegally. In the Middle Ages in Europe there existed a rule that if an escaped serf could survive in a town for a year and a day, the serf would be granted both freedom and citizenship in the town. It was surmised that if the serf would only be able to survive for so long if he or she was resourceful enough to find a useful occupation within the town. Perhaps the same can be said for those illegal aliens in America who have managed to elude INS for so long. These illegal aliens do not come to America seeking to steal jobs from its citizens. Rather, they are attracted to opportunities that are not being sought by American workers. It is just a continuation of the natural cycle that has been an important part of the American Experience. Waves of immigrants have always filled those jobs at the bottom of the economic ladder, ones more prosperous citizens have been unwilling to do. If this were not the case then there would only be unemployment amongst the immigrants instead of American citizens as a natural born citizen has several advantages, such as speaking the native tongue, over the immigrants. Illegal immigrants are actually more in competition with other immigrants instead of native citizens. To even think of attempting to deport the more than ten million illegal aliens is to flirt with economic and social disaster. The courts would become overwhelmed with deportation proceedings not to mention lawsuits from legal resident aliens or from those seeking damages for any perceived wrongs occurring during deportations. There is also the massive manpower that would be required to track down and arrest them. The budget for INS already fails to keep up with border protection. One must also consider the court of world opinion that could be used against the United States, once again portraying us in the worst possible light. This is not to say that our immigration policy needs to pass a global test but we must always be careful of what tools we give unfriendly countries to use against us. Removing ten million individuals from the workforce will be anything but helpful to the economy. Productivity would be hampered and the GNP would suffer. These illegal immigrants do partially contribute to the American Economy in their output in that their efforts are taxed on from the business side. They also support local and state economies as they do pay sales tax on purchased goods. Removing their influence from the economy would have a strong negative effect. One might argue that giving the illegal immigrants guest worker status would be rewarding them for breaking the law, thus encouraging more illegal immigrants. Perhaps their actions are not at fault but rather our immigration laws that are too draconian. Was not America founded on standing up against unjust laws? These immigrants are only doing what our Founding Fathers did centuries ago. Who are we to slam the door of opportunity in their faces? Perchance we would be better served by welcoming them to our shores, while issuing them social security cards and national identity cards. America is missing a great economic opportunity. Many of these illegal aliens are willing to raise thousands of dollars to be smuggled into the country. If we instead made it simple to purchase residency, the government would have this excellent source of revenue. INS could provide expedited processing with transportation and other luxuries included for those who are willing to pay. Others desiring citizenship but unwilling or unable to come up with a few thousand dollars would still be welcomed, they would just have to deal with long lines and no frills. We do not have the resources to totally protect our borders so we should choose which battles to fight. Immigrants should be able to come to border stations and apply for citizenship with a minimum of fuss. By not turning anyone away, we could insure that every immigrant would be registered to pay social security and that fewer would attempt to enter the country illegally since the honest ones would be drawn to honest means if given a chance. This would allow the Border Patrol and Coast Guard to concentrate on eliminating smuggling and keeping out terrorists. Just think of what kind of Americans these immigrants could become if given a chance. By welcoming them into America we would earn their loyalty and gratitude. We could insure that we would assimilate these immigrants instead of facing resistance. We would also be setting the example for other countries to follow, perhaps thereby causing fewer people to want or need to immigrate to America. America was founded on the principle of being the land of opportunity; lets not deny others that opportunity.