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Jobs, not drugs draw immigrants

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By Harold Morgon

Imagine the scene. Two poverty stricken, uneducated men are chatting somewhere in Mexico. One says, “Ese, vamos p’ Albuquerque pa’ cometer delitos.”

The other replies, “Que buena idea!”

Such was the primary election portrayal among Bernalillo County Republican sheriff candidates. Drug cartel types aside, the occasional immigrant may come to New Mexico with an explicit criminal purpose. But not many. Getting here is too much work. For nearly all, jobs are the attraction.

The demagoguery of the sheriff candidate and his ilk feeds the xenophobic overreactions that drive any thought about immigration among conservatives. The xenophobes and buddies cite useless and wrong mantras.

“No amnesty,” is the call. There are perhaps 11 million or possibly 20 million illegal immigrants. Ignore the moral issue of being a nation of immigrants and get practical. We are not going to find all the illegal immigrants, much less deport them. (Visions appear of the World War II Japanese internment). Therefore, if the federal government ever gets its act together (where is “change we can believe in”?), the  mechanism turning illegals into citizens will amount to amnesty under a name with long bureaucratic words.


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