Honorable Solution Should Be Found In Immigration Debate

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Editor:

Observing the marches and the rhetoric surrounding the issue of immigration, some thoughts come to mind. We have, with our founding principles to guide us, the ability to find a solution to this problem that adequately recognizes and reflects the concerns of all people, but it will not be a perfect solution. It must, however, address the needs of both individuals and the country sufficiently so that we may all move forward together.

Our past attention to our borders was seemingly adequate for the times in which we then lived. This is, since 9/11, no longer true. We must now determine how best to secure our borders so that we have control over who does and does not enter our country. We must do this in ways that protect America as well as those who would come to our country.

Because of past policies (or lack thereof), we have large numbers of people who made their way into the country, established new lives and became integral and productive members of society. Recognition of this reality is basic to any proposed solution. We can no more undo this reality than we can return to the 1950s, no matter how much we might like to. To destroy families in the present to rectify past mistakes, theirs and ours, is unconscionable.

Additionally, there are large numbers of migrant workers who provide needed labor for our country's needs while maintaining their families at home. To say they take jobs from Americans makes no sense. Had there been Americans there wanting those jobs, they would have had them. Most of us are too far removed from the role these migrants play in our economy to adequately judge the situation, but we dismiss them at our peril.

So what, given these realities, is the most just and honorable solution? Keeping in mind that there is no perfect resolution for everyone, the recent bipartisan compromise hammered out in the Senate under the leadership of our own Senator McCain seems the most promising so far. Whatever is finally decided must, I believe, reflect the claim of our being a Christian nation, and be determined by keeping in mind the teaching that "whatsoever you do unto the least of these, you do unto Me." The Golden Rule, while seemingly out of fashion, is still a guide to decent and civilized behavior.

Marilyn Decker, Payson

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