A call for reform: This story really sheds light on why the United States has always attracted immigrants with a dream to work hard, make their dreams come true, and contribute to society in many good ways ("Undocumented, Inc," Gregory Pratt, June 9).
The process to become a legal citizen is understood. However, perhaps reform of our current system is in order.
New TImes feedback
History shows us that there always have been people who come to the United States with negative intentions. Laws protecting us against such people should be enforced.
But those who come here to make a better life for themselves and their families and to contribute to our great country — as this well-documented article points out — should be encouraged and not punished for doing exactly what has made our country the best place in the world to live.
Kay Anderson, Phoenix
Lee's, um, got all the answers: Exactly what is it about illegal that these young businesspeople in your story don't understand?
Sure, Lilly Romo started a language school, which is a business that presumably employs American citizens or registered aliens. But look at what this language school does: It helps illegal aliens stay here in this country illegally by teaching them English.
I say round up the illegal Romo and her students and drop them over the border where they belong. Let her put her business sense to work in her native country.
Lee Gordon, Phoenix
Robert and Lee have been talking: What part of illegal don't these illegal-alien [entrepreneurs] in your story understand?
Robert Strovink, Phoenix
Robert and Lee, meet John Q.: There are phrases that should be banned from American parlance:
"You go, girl!" is one. "Let's keep it on the down-low" is another. But the worst is, "What is it about illegal that (fill in the blank) don't understand?"
This is the only thing redneck nativists can come up with most of the time when the subject of immigration from the south comes up.
If total amnesty became the law, these crackers would be tongue-tied. No, they'd just start [calling for] violating the law that they now profess to hold so dear.
John Quinonez, Phoenix
Ned learns about empathy: I'm usually one of the Mexican-bashers New Times rails about all the time, but I found this story enthralling.
For the life of me, I can't fault what the main character in your story, Lilly Romo, is doing — starting her own business (one that teaches fellow Hispanics how to be speak English better and be more productive Americans).
This young woman and some of the others in your story are to be commended. This doesn't, however, keep them from having to live with the fact that it all could go down the drain because of their illegal statuses.
Ned Sargent, Prescott
Yup: What I love about this story is that it goes against the nativist notion that Mexican immigrants are worthless leeches draining our economy.
The people in this story are adding to the economy, creating jobs that enable people to buy goods and services and pay taxes.
They are being good Americans — because they have no choice but to be good Americans. They can't legally get jobs here so they create businesses to survive. What is more capitalist than this?
Renaldo Bradley, city unavailable
But it's the hillbillies that keep Feedback in business: More power to these upholders of the American dream.
They make better Americans than the trailer trash who condemn them, that's for sure. Wish we could deport all the racist hillbillies in this state. That would be a true service to Arizona.
David Ritchie, city unavailable
Just 'cuz you believe it, doesn't make it a fact, Loyd: No matter how much you laud the accomplishments of a few of our illegal immigrants, two obvious facts remain:
• Neither Arizona nor the United States can absorb the tens of millions, perhaps even hundreds of millions, of illegals wanting to come here from Mexico, Central, and South America.
• Hispanic illegals, on average, bring serious self-destructive values with them — lack of commitment to education (evidenced by very high dropout rates), very high birth rates, relatively high crime rates, and behaviors that drive down the property values of others (noise, unkempt premises).
Loyd Eskildson, city unavailable
Tell it to the geniuses Robert, Lee, and Loyd: Under IRS and state laws, [the young businesspeople in your story] are not illegal.
A lot of immigrants have education. Actually, the recent census shows that in the United States, there are more immigrants with bachelor's degrees than immigrants who drop out of high school.
[Many U.S. citizens] see all immigrants in this country as ignorant criminals trying to rape your woman. Just as the people saw the Chinese, black, Jewish, Irish, and any other minority in the history of this country.
If history repeats itself, [a lot of Americans] will be proved wrong, and immigrants' offspring will be some of the most economically successful people in our country in the future.
David Quintana, city unavailable
All that "American way" stuff: Distortions come from all sides, as all sides have agendas. Few people out there are trying to solve problems, New Times included.
For all the good New Times tries to do, its own bias adds to the complexity and tautness of the Gordian knot that immigration and border security has become.
The only truth to be found in the ravings of the lunatic left and the lunatic right is that both sides have parts of the solution while at the same time holding tightly to massive parts of the problem.
We need immigration in the United States. Immigration built this country. Diversity, a constant reinvigoration of the American spirit, is foundational to who we are and how we got here.
We also are a nation of laws. Not of whims or passions or moods. As abused as we were in our nation's infancy by the whims and passions of far-off rulers, this foundation of acting only within the scope of written law has been key to our rise into a great civilization.
So here I am looking at both sides and wishing they'd both calm down and see the rightness their opposition speaks — and the wrongness they themselves speak.
Border security [has] the potential to save lives and ease human suffering. All lives, illegal immigrant and other.
The crime that flourishes because of a weak border reaches far beyond immigration, as human smuggling has grown into a money source for criminals. The current war in Mexico — deaths in the American desert, kidnappings, and gang crimes — has roots in this weakness.
Had I the means, I'd send tens of thousands of troops to the border with construction crews to build and guard a barrier system. To build and operate massive border-inspection stations that would make what we have there today look like flyspecks. To patrol the border with intensity that would choke the life's blood out of the criminal gangs.
On the other side of it, [this country shouldn't] punish those for the wrongs of another [country].
Our current system, which threatens deportation of children smuggled in by their parents, is just plain un-American, immoral, and deeply wrong-headed. While I want these parents punished, destroying young people's lives to do so is despicable.
Therefore I favor a DREAM Act. I favor a path to citizenship that punishes wrongs committed by those who committed those wrongs.
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[We should] devise a system of confession, fines, public service, tough educational demands, and payment of taxes and fees (payment plans are fine).
But deporting uncountable millions? That's nuts.
I want to see America do the right thing, for the right reason. [I want] strength balanced with compassion and guided by reason.
You know, all that "American way" stuff.
Chris Weddle, city unavailable