Move debate focus beyond borders
We need an immigration policy that puts people, not borders first.
As a first-generation immigrant I have been able to take advantage of many of the opportunities that the American Dream offers - most importantly the opportunity of education.
Unfortunately, I know many young immigrants who are stuck in a cycle of poverty even though they have the potential and the desire to move their family into the middle class.
Without the right documentation their educational, occupational and social options are automatically limited.
This stunts their potential and stalls the growth of our economy, which hurts all of us.
These aspiring citizens are forced to take low-skill jobs and must struggle to support their families on their low wages. They live in a constant fear of their status being discovered and instead of assuming an open place in the community they go further into the shadows.
I urge our elected officials to focus on the people who are suffering from this broken system. An immigration reform that puts enforcement first will not help our communities now. We need our members of Congress to fight for what's best for us - the people they represent.
NANCY ORIZABA, Boise
Fix broken system, enforce the laws
Thoughts on immigration reform.
The federal government is responsible for controlling our borders and determining who is allowed to enter the country and under what conditions.
The foundation of free and peaceful societies is the rule of law.
We make fair and just laws through the political process and require people to live by them.
Even when the laws are not ideal, we must continue to obey them while we go through the process of changing them. This is how the game is and must be played in a free nation. The only alternative to the rule of law is the rule of whim, and whims are not good things on which to build a society.
Those who come here illegally must face a consequence for breaking the law. The border must be defended and the immigration system overhauled so people can more easily get here legally.
A Congress that fails to fix our broken immigration system is not doing its job.
A president who fails to enforce the existing laws is not doing his job.
A citizenry that keeps electing congressmen and presidents who fail to do their job is not doing their job.
Shame on all of us.
CORY ATKIN, Boise
Put families first in reform efforts
Last year my brother's wife was deported. In addition to breaking up a marriage, her deportation has been extremely hard on my teenage niece and nephews, who are struggling academically without the support of their mother at home. Our immigration system is tearing families apart and causing unknown damage on future generations of Americans.
Our elected leaders have a chance to fix this broken system. For many prospective immigrants the visa application can take 10 to 20 years to complete. Ten years is too long to wait if you can't find a job in your country that will allow you to feed your family.
I urge our elected leaders to consider to what lengths you would go to provide your children with a better life. Would you even hesitate if it meant providing your child with a quality education and the chance to go on to college? I don't think any parent would.
We need a compassionate immigration reform that focuses on what is best for families. It should streamline the visa process and provide temporary permits to those engaged in immigration proceedings so that they can continue to support their families and contribute to the local economy.
REBECCA ARTEAGA, Rupert
Separating families won't aid problem
If I were separated from my parents tomorrow, I don't know what I would do.
Without their sacrifices I would not be where I am today, going to college and pursuing a double degree at the University of Idaho. Luckily, my parents are permanent residents and I will never have to personally experience this. But the possibility of separation is still a real fear for my sister and her family.
I am calling on our elected leaders to look back into their own family histories. Perhaps, like me, they didn't have to go through the struggles of being a first-generation immigrant. But somebody in their family did and it is because of those struggles that they are where they are today.
I would also urge them to look at the economic impact that immigrants have, particularly in the agricultural sector here in Idaho, and take into account the boost to our economy that they provide.
We deserve an immigration system that has fair and attainable requirements for citizenship, that keeps families together and that welcomes immigrants of all skills into our economy. This is the right thing to do for our communities, our economy, our country.
VIVIANA GONZALEZ, Moscow
Attacks reflect poorly on U.S.
I wanted to congratulate the Statesman for having a story on the drone war on the front page of the April 10 paper, even though not much of the article's contents is information that hasn't already been known for months.
As it states, most of the debate in the U.S. has focused on the deaths of four Americans killed by drones, not the thousands who've been killed in Pakistan.
The debate on whether the president can murder Americans without trial is undoubtedly important, but the fact that countless numbers of foreign civilians are being killed by drones should not be ignored.
When we consider the terrorist attacks of 9/11, we can empathize with the pain and shock one feels at loved ones or countrymen being attacked by someone to whom the victims never personally caused any harm. Justice is demanded, and rightfully so.
Now let us consider the unfortunate souls in Pakistan whose family members are killed by American drones.
They are just bystanders, likely poor farmers trying to get by. They never personally caused any harm to any American. They will yearn for justice as well.
How else are they to see the U.S. government, other than a violent, foreign invader?
TATE FEGLEY, Meridian
See the big picture
"Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth."
- John f. Kennedy
I suggest all you blatantly small minded people, leave Idaho at least once in your lives to experience the big world out there.
LYNN MCDONALD, Boise