E-MAIL SHOWS PULSE OF COUNTRY
June 9, 2007
Author: DAVID HOWELL, Special for The Republic Estimated printed pages: 2
I've learned over the years that some topics generate more of a response than
others. Immigration is definitely one of those. And the several dozen missives I
received in the wake of my most recent column in support of comprehensive
immigration reform leaves me hopeful.
When I first wrote on this topic several years ago, the majority of the e-mails
were of the "send them all home and build a wall" variety. Those folks are still
there, and they still write. But this time, they were more than offset by
individuals supporting the position I took.
The sample of my e-mail response is supported by the most recent nationwide
polls I've seen. A sizable majority of Americans recognize that we need a
workable guest worker program.
I know part of that majority opinion is simply a matter of being realistic, and
another part is economic common sense. Rounding up and deporting 10-plus million
individuals is simply undoable and would wreak havoc on many U.S.
But I'd also like to believe there is an element of that sentiment that
recognizes that doing so would also be unfair and unjust ... Dare I say
I'll use one subset of our undocumented residents to make my point.
They came here as children; many of them are now young adults. They came because
their parents brought them. They are undocumented, but they have never known
And, contrary to what some would have us believe, they are largely assimilated.
The majority have worked hard in school and stayed out of trouble.
Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, hardly a liberal, and several others in Congress
(including our own U.S. Rep. Ed Pastor) recognized the plight of these young
people several years ago and introduced legislation designed to address it.
It's called the "Dream Act." When it passes, it will reward these deserving
young Americans with a path to a college education and U.S. citizenship.
The irony is that not only does justice demand that we open this door to these
young people, we need them. In today's world being bilingual is a valuable
We'd be fools not to invite them in.
David Howell lives in Phoenix. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.