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New Mexico and the rest of the nation are so conflicted by the illegal immigration debate. It’s so simple. What’s the big deal?Take the idea of jobs. You’ve got thousands of people in New Mexico and millions across the country doing jobs unemployed Americans can do. Why should we let non-citizens gobble up these employment opportunities when too many of our citizens are without work?On the other hand, Americans are picky about what they will do for a buck.Take the Albuquerque experiment. That city initiated a program to employ the homeless with low-paying public service jobs. They discovered the homeless would rather hang out in shelters.Then there is this business of “illegal.”What part of “illegal” don’t you understand? There are something like 30 million of these folks in our country. Round them up, put them on buses, send them back to Mexico.On the other hand, these aren’t cattle – they are people, people with hopes, and fears, and joy, and anxiety. Many have been here for generations and have established homes and families. Uprooting papa and sending him back to Mexico, breaking up families, is hardly the compassionate American way. Seems a reasonable path to citizenship is the answer.How about the open border? A 700-mile stretch of often-desolate territory being monitored by too few guards is hardly airtight. A Quinceaero party decked in full formal attire and accompanied by two Mariachi bands could waltz across. They say border guards apprehend one for every three or four that make it across.So how about terrorism? How many bad guys have infiltrated the ranks of those simply seeking a better life? Build the fence.On the other hand, if we build the fence and stop the influx of labor, get ready for the American economic machine to gear down. You know why so many businessmen suddenly go mute when the talk turns to shutting off the labor supply? It’s not necessarily compassion. They know they are in big trouble without this labor source.Does not a tight border cutting off the flow of illegals, thereby thwarting possible terrorists, coupled with a revised immigration policy welcoming those who want to work make some sense?Another issue is driver’s licenses. Hillary found herself in deep water without a paddle when she all but endorsed a New York proposal to issue driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. That, say critics, will give them access to the voting system.On the other hand, that may be true in New York, not in New Mexico, says a state official.James Flores, spokesman for the Secretary of State, told us the key document for registering to vote here is the social security number.An applicant must provide that number and it is run through a computer. If the computer kicks it out as a number that does not exist or the number does not match the name of the applicant, further investigation is initiated.No valid social security number, no voting, says Mr. Flores.Solving the illegal immigration issues would be great for the country.On the other hand, it would penalize the racial hate mongers who spend their days sending ugly emails to everyone in their address book.“Would feeding illegal aliens to the hungry help the homeless!”?How clever.What we would like to do is find out where you are from, idiot who wrote that, and ship you back.See how simple this illegal immigration problem is?On the other handee.
Ned Cantwell welcomes response at ncantwell@ beyondbb.com.