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Going for broke means never fixing what's broken
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All or nothing at all is an approach that those on the left and those on the right should use sparingly.

The left leaning San Francisco Board of Supervisors in the same self-righteous mode of those they love to taunt who are 180 degrees opposed to their views is pushing a ticking political time bomb to the forefront as California gears up for the 2010 election in the middle of a severe economic downturn.

It is in the form of a proposal that would require underage illegal immigrants arrested by San Francisco police to be convicted of a crime before they are turned over to immigration authorities.

Mayor Gavin Newsom, after a number of high-profile embarrassments, pulled his support for the previous policy that prohibited San Francisco police from contacting the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement when an illegal immigrant youth is arrested. Those "embarrassments" included an overage illegal who passed himself off as being under 18 who ended up gunning down a father and his two sons as they drove on a city street because he claimed he had been shown disrespect. There were also the numerous underage illegals who were convicted of selling drugs that were sent to halfway houses in Southern California and subsequently ran away and returned to the streets of San Francisco to sell more drugs.

Those incidents drew national attention to San Francisco's sanctuary city policy. It set in motion factions ready to pressure federal authorities to pounce if San Francisco tried to implement something that is clearly against the law of the land.

Proponents of the San Francisco measure argue that it denies illegals due process. Opponents simply point out they are already breaking the law by being here illegally and therefore due process when it comes to being considered for deportation - you're either legal or you're not - is a moot point to debate.

There is a middle ground that should be explored.

If you're here as an illegal immigrant one would imagine you'd do whatever it took to stay out of high-profile trouble. Selling drugs and such isn't exactly honest, legal work.

As for being denied due process, they are entitled to a deportation hearing which - by any definition - is a due process.

The added caveat in the case of being charged with the felony is that prosecutors would have to decide if justice would be served by trying them here in the United States and making them serve a prison term if convicted before having them deported.

Those completely against cutting any slack for illegal immigrants have their points although you could argue it would have tremendous negative impact on the economy. Sure, the odds are you know of some immigrant - illegal or otherwise - who is playing the system. The vast majority, though, aren't. A lot of the reason we have low priced food and many menial jobs filled are because immigrants both illegal and legal are willing to take them.

What is needed is a serious look at a guest workers program in context of economic realities. Maybe illegals in this country should be given a three-year window to take steps to become legal citizens or else register as a guest worker.

Then, once that time period ends, a massive crackdown starts on employers who hire illegals and the illegals themselves.

It is about the only way you can get the horses back into the barn.

What San Francisco is proposing to satisfy their local political consciousness of the need to be a sanctuary city just assures there will never be a reasonable resolution to the problem of illegal immigrants.

Instead of seeking a middle ground to move forward, they are hell-bent on pouring more gasoline on the flames of outrage from those diametrically opposed to their objective. Then as the fire heats up it drives away anyone who is not blinded by the two extremes from the debate effectively leaving the issue of illegals simmering until the next political flare up.

That leads to a stalemate where more illegals enter the country and outrage is fanned against their transgressions perceived and otherwise whether it has to do with the cost of healthcare, supposedly taking away good paying jobs, crime, or finding ways to live off the taxpayers by playing the system with false ID.

In the end, nothing is solved.