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Counter to commentary on immigration reform

Dear Editor:

I read the article on “Small business economy needs immigration reform” with interest and dismay. The distortion of the facts and misrepresentation of the feelings and attitudes of Arizonans is unfortunate. 

I was born in Nogales, raised 19 miles away in Patagonia. My grandmother and aunt were Hispanic. I have a pretty good feel and relationship with both border issues and illegal/legal immigration. As such let me counter a few of your errant points. 

Undocumented? Is this a politically correct way of saying “illegal”? My family (from Mexico, Ireland and Germany) all immigrated legally – followed the rules. This means they learned some American history, the language and what it was to be an American. I was under the impression “illegal” is criminal. It appears that the article is endorsing criminal behavior at the expense of undermining legal behavior. Today, if I were from a different country seeking to enter the USA, I would really question the effort required of me when there are so many who illegally sidestep the procedure. Words are important. Using “undocumented” as a euphemism for “illegal” is a disreputable evasion of the truth. 

The article says that “Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly should feel confident…”. I would not agree with that as both rate an F- on the immigration scorecard and do not represent the majority of Arizonan’s views. In fact, the opposite is true. According to the Rasmussen Report, Arizonans are unsatisfied with the current governments immigration and border policies “Barely one-fifth of Arizona voters support efforts by Democrats to include an amnesty provision for illegal immigrants in the “Build Back Better” legislation currently pending in Congress, and most would vote against a member of Congress who supports the proposed amnesty.” 

The premise that people here illegally help a worker shortage is just completely erroneous. Arizona’s labor force participation rate is a dismal 60.4 percent. In truth, the millions of people here illegally are taking jobs that would otherwise go to American citizens, Arizona citizens who both want and need the job. 

Cited are numerous financial figures that attempt to say the people living here illegally contribute to the economy. However, it fails to reveal the impact in terms of welfare, medical costs, state benefits, law enforcement costs, schooling, etc. which far exceed the “benefit” mentioned. Also not mentioned is the fact that thousands illegally cross the border and infiltrate the community without any regard for illnesses (Covid), criminal records or affiliations. And not all illegal border crossings are from immigrants. 

Duane Loftus 

Mesa 

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