Friday, November 30, 2007

Storm Lake Times: With Hispanic Immigrants We Are The American Story

In his most recent editorial Art Cullen of the Storm Lake Times, a leading progressive and one of the more well-respected opinion writers in the state, says Hispanic immigrants have helped make Storm Lake "the American story."

Cullen makes the case that Iowa -- facing an epic worker shortage -- desperately needs immigrants and should reject political hysteria and think about what is best for rural economies.

What we really need is to open up the immigration quotas to fill our low-skilled, medium-skilled and high-skilled job shortages. This is especially true in Iowa, which is aging rapidly and badly needs workers in the agri-industrial sector. It’s basically simple arithmetic: How many meatpackers and landscapers do we need? Let that many in. For those already here, pay a fine for entering illegally, get on a path to citizenship, learn English and keep your nose clean.

This is what most Americans want, according to the polling we have seen. They want a way for people to escape poverty, fill unfilled yet important jobs, and live safely and out of the shadows. Most American citizens do not think it practical to ship out 15 million illegal aliens, the great majority of whom have never been in trouble here and have no idea what a dirty bomb is. Most good Christians we know find it an offense to their values to separate families, consign people to a life of poverty under corrupt regimes, and to identify people as criminals based on their appearance or country of origin. As Christ said, “What you do to the least of my brothers, you do to me.”

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