Dear Editor:I am for immigration reform. ("Immigration Reform," Letters to the Editor, 5/9/13) In fact a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll finds that most Americans, two-thirds to be exact, are actually in favor of a program that would give undocumented immigrants legal status. If a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants is in fact granted, that is NOT to say that there will not be consequences. These immigrants will have to pay taxes and a fine. Contrary to misguided belief only citizens of the United States are eligible for welfare, not illegal immigrants. If individuals would take the opportunity to review the 844-page immigration reform bill, they would know that if and when this bill passes, federal welfare benefits will be denied to these Registered Provisional Immigrants (RPIs) for 10 years. This proposed immigration reform is a bipartisan effort because it WILL strengthen the American economy. In a study supported by the CATO institute and led by Raul Hinojosa-Ojeda Ph.D (See "The Economic Benefits of Comprehensive Immigration Reform") there was a projected $1.5 trillion in economic growth if a reform similar to the one in the senate is actually approved as opposed to the $2.6 trillion loss in GDP in a decade if we would just round up all of the scattered immigrants, reform them into groups and send them home.' Furthermore, an analysis per Stephen C. Gross, Chief Actuary for the Social Security Administration, has shown that it will in fact add more than $300 billion in net additional revenues to social security and Medicare. Given the 2010 Census, 80% of Downey citizens are of different ethnic origins, there is no room for xenophobia. It is inhumane, callous and uncompassionate to not offer a solution to illegal immigrant families that are often separated by deportation. Forty percent of Fortune 500 Companies have been founded by immigrants or their children (See "The 'New American' Fortune 500: A Report by the partnership for a New American Economy" June 2011). It would be ignorant and antiquated to consider immigrant reform unnecessary, and not as an investment. Wake up citizens of Downey, there is no room for xenophobia! As citizens of the United States it is our responsibility to propose and find compassionate and reasonable solutions to human beings in our community regardless of their legal status. Beatrice Martinez Downey

********** Published: May 16, 2013 - Volume 12 - Issue 05