When President Bush said last week that “some in this country” want all the illegal immigrants rounded up and deported, we wondered what crowd the president has been running with. We have heard of no official of either party from any state advocating such a ridiculous idea.

There is an alternative to both mass round-ups and paths to citizenship — the attrition-style enforcement measures pushed by the House and leading immigration reform groups. Simply attack the perks of illegal immigration, such as citizenship for children, access to social services and public education and, of course, employment.

What earthly good would it do for the illegals to torture themselves, risking life and limb, to slip into America if they know that when they get here no one is going to give them a job out of fear of facing hefty fines and maybe even jail time?

You never hear any complaints about illegal aliens from the employers of these poor people. Of course not. They really don’t care if there is a flood of immigrants coming across the border as long as they can hire them at slave-labor wages.

The federal government can spend two billion dollars and send 6,000 National Guard troops to the border, but will not stop the flow of illegal immigrants into the country any sooner than the feds have stopped the flow of illegal drugs from South America.

If their were no customers for the illegal drugs, there would be none coming here. If there were no employers for the illegal immigrants, they wouldn’t be coming either.

Also, amendments proposed to the U. S. Senate’s immigration reform bill mandating English as our “national” or “common unifying” language does not solve a single, solitary problem, so for what purpose are the amendments being considered?

Actually, this hot button issue serves two purposes. Number one, it panders to the anti-immigration voter, and second, it takes the public’s mind off some of the real horrendous problems facing the country.

Right now, with approval ratings dropping like a squadron of lead balloons, it might prove helpful for those in power if the American people had something to occupy their minds other than political corruption, gasoline prices, tax breaks for the wealthiest, the war in Iraq, the dangers of Iran, the destruction of the Gulf Coast, and the highest debt that this country has ever known.

English is the language of our country, and it is the commercial language of the free world. It does not need to be officially designated, it just needs to be officially required. It is the government that requires that forms, directions and legal documents include translations into Spanish and French.

In America, the free enterprise market rules. All immigrants should learn to speak and read English, just as have the Polish, German, Chinese, and Japanese who have immigrated here in the past.

America, as a great melting pot of nationalities and cultures, is also a melting pot of languages. Congress can’t change that by pandering for votes.