Letter: Immigration problem is about people, not politics


Cara Cromwell's column about immigration on July 23 has a good headline: "Time to end finger pointing and fix the problem." The entire column betrays the title, points fingers and does nothing to address the problem.

If a problem is to be fixed, a cause must be identified. That is why the immigration problem is no closer to being fixed than it was 30 years ago. The right focuses only on people broke the law when they crossed the border and they should be punished. Liberals focus only on these are good, hard-working people and there is a need for compassion. Both groups continue to ignore the root of the problem.

Immigration is a labor issue. Until 2008, we needed 500,000 low-skilled workers in the country each year to meet the needs of our expanding economy. We only gave out 5,000 visas in that category. We could not fill our labor needs if it wasn't for illegal immigration. The pro-immigration people, who I identify with, often say people come here to do jobs Americans won't do. That's inaccurate and misleading. People come here to do the jobs Americans were unavailable to do because in 2006 our unemployment rate was 4 percent. People do not come here to take jobs from us; they come here to fill jobs they are needed for, as they have throughout history.

Another misrepresentation is that the current wave of kids on the border are mainly the result of drug violence in Central America, The real reason a majority of the kids are crossing the border is to reunited with their parents, from whom they have been separated for years because of the lack of a rational immigration policy. What would you do if you were separated from your parents or kids? What risks would you be willing to take?

No one dislikes illegal immigration more than the people who had to cross the border to support themselves, their families and this country. We all go to work for our own reasons, our own survival, and in doing so we contribute to the community and the nation. Don't apply different standards for immigrants.

Cara Cromwell's efforts to blame the immigration problem on President Obama are ridiculous, disingenuous and politically motivated. "Straight up the Middle" should be retitled "Mud Fight from the Right." Everyone who uses this issue for their own political gains is contributing to the problem, and the suffering of millions of people.

Greg Hall



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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.