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Guest opinion: Immigration problems and solutions
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I have lived most of my adult life blending with the Latino culture, starting with my serving in the Peace Corps in Ecuador from 1974 to 1976. 

My wife is a naturalized citizen born and raised in Guayaquil, Ecuador, which is also the birthplace of my education in the immigration process filling out papers to bring her home to Wisconsin after our marriage. I own and operate an auto sales and service business where approximately 50 percent of my clients are Latinos. I am also currently the president of a The Darlington Hispanic Primitive Methodist Church, where my wife and I also teach Sunday school. 

I have a firm knowledge of the current problems. I see lots of strife with the proposed policies and I am certain that my unique views would be beneficial to all parties. It physically hurts me to share the pain that so many terrified people are currently experiencing, some of it due to lack of information.

We should have high expectations of new immigrants. I do realize that the current problem is bigger than the Latino infiltration and I do not mean to leave out the refuge problem from the Muslim nations, but the same expectations should cover all immigrants. 

Speaking personally, I love the United States of America. My wife, even though she is a naturalized citizen, stands up and defends the United States as it were her own … and it is. That does not mean that she has lost her Ecuadorian heritage as we celebrate all good things Ecuadorian. But this is her country now, the birthplace of her children, and of her grandchildren. Perhaps this is why she has a passion for people to love and respect her “new” country as she does. She has experienced the goodness, the respect, and the caring attitude that defines our citizens’ souls. 

I believe that is the example of what should be expected from all who make this their new home — teach us and share with us your culture and history to make us a richer people, but at the end of the day salute your new flag.

Unity is within our grasp. To start we have to understand some basic truths. 

At the present time the human traffickers are charging $10,000 to $15,000 per person to cross the border. I have asked many of my clients why they don’t use this money to open businesses in their own countries. I am told that they basically make a downpayment to the “coyote,” and that the balance is made by payments once they start working here. This has created a large crime ring on the border where the immigrants pass through terrible conditions, some being raped, others dying due to dehydration in the desert, while many others are robbed of their money and possessions. Once here if they default on their payments their families back home pay the price, sometimes with their lives. 

Why do people do this? Desperation, and the hope of giving their children something better. Are all Latinos “good” people? No, that would be a lie. We have to see the truth as the truth. 

We could spend our lifetime arguing on the many fronts as to “the how” or “the why” we have arrived at this day, but the truth is we have allowed the murky immigration of what is said to be 20 million people. President Trump wants to build a wall, but there is already a wall. Perhaps it would be better stated that he wants to build a wall that works. My hope and prayer is that if he does indeed build the new wall that it will have many doors.

Here is my list of suggestions:

1. Anyone convicted of a serious crime should be lawfully incarcerated or deported, depending on the crime.

2. For those who have arrived and are just doing their best to work and are respecting this country I believe a “green card” should be available so that they could legally work. I firmly believe that this policy should be self-funded. I have asked many immigrants if they would be willing to pay perhaps $5,000 to $7,000 per person for the “green card.” To date 100 percent of Latinos and American citizens alike whom I have spoken to love this idea. Let’s remember the possibility of 20 million people who would be paying this fee … that’s a lot of money that could, as I have mentioned, self-fund the Latino immigration policies. A side effect of this is that the gang problems on the border would disappear as their “services” would no longer be needed, making it safer for Mexican’s living in the northern part of Mexico. I see it as a win/win/win policy for all.

3. For those who do get the green cards and who have been living here illegally they would lose their privilege to ever get U.S. citizenship due to the nature of their initial entrance, but they would be given the right to live here peacefully and return to their countries of origin to visit as they please with no persecution. I do not believe illegal entrance should be a gateway for citizenship. 

The positives of following these actions:

1. We could proudly retain our image as the Statue of Liberty so boldly proclaims.

2. Our neighbors to the south would remain friends.

3. We would not have to deal with parents who now have legal U.S. citizen children and the problems that would ensue. Could we legally deport minor children?

4. All people would be paying income taxes fairly.

5. The new immigrants would be able to get driver’s licenses and could purchase car insurance.

6. The new immigrants would be able to purchase health insurance. 

7. The purchasing power of 20 million people would not be lost. Imagine if 20 million people purchase just one pair of shoes per year and how that affects our economy…and multiply that by every item that a person consumes per year! They might make their money here, but they also spend lots of it here.

8. The new immigrants could get bank loans to purchase homes and automobiles, further helping our economy.

9. They could finally live in peace and fully experience the beauty of being American.

10. I’ve had many tears shed on my shoulders from friends whose parents or siblings have passed away back in their countries and they could not even attend the funerals…this dark emotional horror would be gone.

The negatives if we don’t pursue some form of these actions:

1. Imagine the hostility of 20 million people being deported and the vacuum that it would leave.

2. Imagine the views of the children of those deported. How would they see us? How will they vote when they do become of age?

3. I can’t even imagine the negative impacts on agriculture, tourism, and restaurants.

4. If you have a good employee it just isn’t logical to fire him. We need a productive hardworking workforce for the future.

When I was a teenager my father taught me something that I will never forget: “There are lots of men who know how to hang new parts on cars, but there are few mechanics.” What he meant is that in order to fix a problem you first have to have the wisdom and insight into what the real problem is, and that it does no good to just throw on unneeded parts to mask the problem. Let’s all work together to find the exact problem facing us at this moment in time, and work together smartly to keep this beautiful country of ours the shining light that truly is.