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Imagine the thrill that filled the hearts of our forefathers when they saw the Statue of Liberty for the first time and heard the words: "Give me your poor, your tired, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free . . . " They must have been enchanted by their newfound opportunities of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Last time I checked, the Statue of Liberty was still a symbol of those things that are still right about America - things like freedom from oppression, rights that are guaranteed to all mankind, not just Americans.If people like Art Larson get their way, (Forum Dec. 6) the Statue of Liberty will stand for nothing.

Larson refers to Bill Orton as one of "our worthless Democratic parasitic politicians" because he, like Republicans Jack Kemp and Barry Goldwater, favors a more moderate and charitable approach to dealing with this pressing challenge. They should be applauded for courageously standing against the charlatans who use scare tactics to make Americans fear nonwhites as criminal and economic threats.

Illegal aliens are a problem, but they are not to blame for California's (or anyone else's) budget shortfalls. They are not to blame for a high percentage of Utah's crimes as Sen. Bob Bennett irresponsibly alleged. Instead, consider cutbacks in defense spending, economic downturn, broken families and anti-tax initiatives that limit government from providing vital services like policing and city maintenance.

Most immigrants work very hard at menial jobs Americans do not want. They maintain close family ties and contribute to their communities. They succeed by taking chances and working hard, values America has always thrived on. Illegal aliens do not receive Social Security or most other forms of government aid, as Larson believes. Nor do they receive any free medical care or legal advice that any other human being is not entitled to. What gives any of us the right to say no one else is welcome to pursue their dreams, just because we were here first?

Robert B. Marsh

Salt Lake City