Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Immigration Fascination

The House of Representatives needs to rethink its approach to immigration reform. Workers from Mexico are willing to endure countless hardships to enter this country. Many illegal workers travel hundreds of miles, much of it on foot through nearly unbearable terrain, to sneak into America. They risk starvation and dehydration in the desert in hopes of finding a better life. Scores of them have died. If these dangers seem worthwhile, what makes our government think stepping up the border patrol and increasing penalties will stop the flow?

The truth is simple. Our economy depends on these workers. When we eat lettuce, tomatoes, grapes, and strawberries, the fruits of their labor are on our plates. They should not be forced to wait out in the cold while we dine. We should invite them to join us at the table by developing a humane immigration policy. America cannot afford to wait for a violent protest or a labor strike. We need to embrace the people who are willing to embrace us.

Many undocumented workers have been here for years, toiling in jobs some of us would never consider doing. We should allow them to achieve the full rights of citizenship their work has earned. For those who travel between America and Mexico on a seasonal basis, we must construct a plan that regulates the flow of workers and makes the journey safe for all.

These steps will not solve all of our immigration woes. However, they will do more to fix the problems facing our country and its immigrants than the current legislation in Washington.


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