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An easy answer to illegal immigration

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By Ned Cantwell

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.


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