Mark Terran argues that all immigrants in the United States illegally should "return to their home countries" (forcibly, I presume, if they refuse to go voluntarily) and get in line ("Amnesty unjust," May 2). He also argues that this is the most compassionate solution for all. Unfortunately, the immigration situation is not remotely as black and white as Terran makes it seem. Because all children of illegal immigrants who are born in the U.S. are American citizens, a massive number of "illegal immigrant" families are actually families of mixed citizenry. In many cases the parents are illegal while their young children are American citizens.
Would Terran advocate forcing these children to leave the country with their parents, effectively expelling American citizens? I find it hard to imagine he would support forcibly splitting up such families and turning the minor citizens over to the state, where he would be forced to support them with his taxes. Regardless of where one comes down on the issue, this is just one illustration of how oversimplification of a complex issue hurts, instead of helps, the dialogue.