Printed letters, May 5, 2013

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COMMENTS

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Contrary to Richard Bright’s nativist rant (“Bennet offering charade on immigration reform”, May 5, 2013), Senator Michael Bennet does not purport to be a “messiah who will solve the immigration issues we have”.

Rather, as accurately reported by the Sentinel (“Immigration-reform supporters champion their cause at GJ rally”, May 3, 2013), Senator Bennet visited Grand Junction Thursday to explain provisions of the proposed “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013” to his directly-affected constituents—local members of national agricultural groups.

Bright seems completely unaware that Western Slope farmers, growers, and ranchers who rely on migrant workers regard the current H-2A visa program as administratively unworkable and incapable of meeting the demand for such labor – precisely because U.S. citizens are unwilling to “step up and help our farmers out when needed”.

Bright also seems unaware that undocumented workers make a positive contribution to our overall economy – by cheaply harvesting valuable crops while paying sales taxes, gas taxes, payroll taxes, etc. – even if their presence also modestly strains social services.

Bright willfully ignores the facts that the primary impetus for drug trafficking across our southern border is “northerners’” insatiable demand for illegal drugs, and that the NRA’s “gun lobby” has thwarted every effort to stem the flow of arms to drug cartels – either by expanding background checks to close the “gun show loophole” and/or by making “straw purchase” gun trafficking a federal offense.  Meanwhile, U.S. gun manufacturers and hundreds of gun dealers in Arizona continue to greedily profit from those loopholes.

As Olathe’s John Harold opined, the bipartisan immigration reform bill co-sponsored by Senators Bennet and John McCain, et al.  – imperfect and contingent on $4.5 billion in enhanced border security as it is – nevertheless constitutes the best available opportunity to achieve much-needed comprehensive reforms.

Therefore, Representative Scott Tipton should also support the bill.



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