Border crisis: ancestors and the "right way"

Published: Monday, Jul. 14, 2014 - 12:07 pm

Re "Ancestors did it right way" (Letters, July 13): I have been studying genealogy for 40 years, and immigration law in the U.S. has changed constantly. For the first 100 years of our existence, it was regulated by the States and varied a great deal.

Immigrants from Europe were not required to obtain visas until after World War II. Native Americans were not granted U.S. citizenship until 1924. My ancestors came over a span of years from 1630 to 1860 and there was no one right way.

Pamella Stinnett should know that although illegal residents pay taxes, they do not receive Social Security or Medicare. She also has no way of knowing that her ancestors came here legally.

-- Laura Whittle, Sacramento

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