Regarding "Provide a path for those already in U.S." (Opinion, Tomás R. Jiménez, May 3): an attempt to make the case for illegal "assimilation."

As an Arizona resident and taxpayer, I was amused by much of the column. I am very much in favor of comprehensive immigration reform. SB 1070, which was recently passed by the Arizona legislature, begins to address this reform that the federal government has neglected for decades.

Throughout the opinion piece Jiménez excuses criminal activity, suggesting the law should change because "immigrants are here to stay" and have a right to assimilation.

Since when do we change the law because the criminals do not like it? He claims that, should these criminals be allowed to stay in the U.S., they "will learn English and embrace our social customs" while referendums requiring English only are refuted regularly by the same population. This assertion is simply not true — see American Roundup in the same edition of Stars and Stripes ("English-only ad a Web sensation").

What I found particularly troublesome was his slick and calculated portrayal of the kids of illegal immigrants who have to attend to the needs of their parents who face the "vagaries of the job market, health care system and housing." Translated: We are unable to claim unemployment and Social Security, receive free health care through Medicare and Medicaid and obtain Department of Housing and Urban Development and other government subsidies.

A means exists for those who wish to work and reside in the U.S. Extending social and economic benefits as suggested by Jiménez rewards criminal behavior. Salutations to the Arizona Legislature. I look forward to returning to a state that has taken a bold and necessary step forward in this ongoing debate.

Capt. Kevin O’NanAl-Kut, Iraq

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