Yesterday's Star Tribune featured the following letter from an immigrant to the US.
Letter of the day: The land of opportunity and Gov. Pawlenty, As a recent Honduran immigrant, I am shocked by how little Gov. Tim Pawlenty seems to understand about immigration. While I was lucky enough to obtain a legal status through my husband, many of us, including my own family members, must wait for 10 years or more to get a green card while their application sits backlogged with the federal government. We immigrants work hard. We often come home with broken fingernails and aching backs. We do not complain. In fact, we don't give up but work harder so that our families will have the same opportunities as people born in this country. We have come here for that opportunity, because in our home countries, we are born poor with little chance to succeed. Pawlenty's proposal says we are bad for Minnesota and effectively disallows communication with police when needed. If Pawlenty needs other Republicans to look to, he should consult with Sam Brownback, John McCain, Norm Coleman or Orrin Hatch. These U.S. senators have all made recent proposals that strengthen America's tradition of immigration by addressing border security, employment verification, job security of native U.S. workers and the reality of undocumented families living in the United States.
I.B. St Paul
The letter writer brings up a fair point - the system that is responsible for approving legal immigrants is backlogged. It is going to need to be fixed in order to play an active part in stemming illegal immigration and is a great topic for another day!
However, the letter writer (and the Strib editorial staff) totally missed the point of Governor Pawlenty's proposal for dealing with the effects of illegal immigration. Just a reminder - the Governor proposed:
Our nation has been built on immigration. It's an important part of our history and our future. However, illegal immigration is a disservice to those who have come to America legally. Concerns about illegal immigration will erode support for legal immigration. We need an immigration system that is legal, orderly and reasonable.Cities across Minnesota have experienced illegal immigrants involved in drug trafficking, sex crimes, falsifying legal documents and Medicare fraud.That's why I'm proposing Minnesota stop ignoring this problem and start dealing with it. We can get started by creating an Illegal Immigration Enforcement Team to help enforce the laws we already have.Then we can strengthen our laws and penalties for those who use false identification documents or employ illegal immigrants.
Do you understand the difference dear reader???? The difference I.B. of St Paul is that we are not talking about making things harder for those that come here legally, we are talking about stemming the tide of ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION. We are a country of laws I.B. If you want to come into the country legally, welcome. If you break our laws in order to enter the country, know that you are going to go to jail at a minimum and at a maximum you are going to be sent home! It is that simple.