Inspiring success: Your story on the prosperous Latino farmers makes a mockery of most of the remarks that ignorant Arizona crackers make about "worthless" Mexican immigrants.
The people profiled in your story are what America is all about. They came here and didn't ask for handouts. They came here and worked for what they have. They have prospered beyond most of our wildest dreams. They own their own businesses and have made their community a model. What an inspiring story!
The most interesting note in the article was how housing values have held stable, and in some cases risen, in this area of Washington state because of Latinos buying homes. Meaning they did not make things worse; they made things better.
Laura Thomas, Phoenix
Wait, he "gamed" the system how?: Okay, this guy [Sergio Marquez] comes here illegally, gets deported, comes back, gets legal, and then makes big bucks with his farm. Whether or not he is a model businessman and employer, he is a guy who gamed the system and is hardly worthy of a New Times cover story.
Stop trying to sell us on the idea that illegal immigration is fine. Your propaganda isn't working!
Ron Witt, Phoenix
News you can use: Amidst all the right-wing propaganda against illegal aliens around here these days, it was refreshing to read an inspiring story of immigrants who came to America and prospered. This was an important story to force-feed the crackers in Phoenix.
Juan L. Montero, Phoenix
What a country: I am Native American and know that Anglos came here illegally and brought crime, drugs, and alcohol with them. [They] ruined a beautiful way of life for my ancestors.
Unless you are Native American, stop talking like you are here legally. You are the children of illegals, and you rant against the very issue that allowed you to be U.S. citizens. You continue to destroy lives, just as your ancestors once did.
Elisamaria Hernandez, San Tan
Mexicans valuable in U.S.: "Welcome to Mi Pueblito" is an important story for Arizonans to read. It describes a place where Mexicans have made a positive difference in their adopted land.
Granted there were extenuating circumstances (the one guy was able to get a green card by marrying an American), but the article demonstrates how hard-working Latinos were able to get ahead, against all odds.
This story went a long way toward proving how valuable Latinos are in our country, how they should be embraced, not shunned.
C.H. Whitaker, address unavailable
"Amnesty" no picnic: The amnesty given to immigrants by ol' Ronald Reagan was in 1986. My father was one of these immigrants.
I might add that you had to prove that you had legally entered the country, had been working, and had been paying taxes — and not left the country (except, for example, for the death of a family member).
These were among a bunch of other hoops immigrants had to run through. In other words, it was not really an amnesty.
Juan Volpe, address unavailable
You're saying resistance is futile?: Nina Shapiro is not an objective reporter, as she writes with complete disregard for U.S. sovereignty and promotes usurping the U.S. Constitution.
We know that immigration into the United States is important. My concern lies in the wanton disregard for an orderly immigration policy that stresses assimilation.
There is a reason that the citizenry of other countries migrate here: desirable lifestyle. But if individuals [coming to this country] forsake the foundation from which our citizenry is born, conflict will ensue.
There is a reason why I cannot come into your house, invited or not, and begin to undermine the culture of your household.
I have benefited greatly from Mexican nationals and enjoy their integrity and work ethic, but they should be indoctrinated for assimilation, or we will lose what made this country desirable.
You know what happens when you assume: So an illegal immigrant crossed the border, got busted, got sent back to Mexico, crossed illegally again, and had a scam marriage, right? All this in order to become legal.
And now he is employing other illegals to work a farm he shouldn't have — if our immigration system actually enforced the law. Strip him of his citizenship, and send him back to Mexico.
Dude, Ellis Island is really far from Arizona: My great-grandparents came to this country through Ellis Island in accordance with U.S. law. They didn't sneak across the border.
Immigrate legally, and I fully support people who want to come here. Do it illegally, and I say deport them.
Hmm, we didn't say that: So this man in your article is a citizen importing illegal workers? He is nothing more than a slave trafficker. His business should be shut down, and the workers should be deported.
Mexico is a developed nation, for one thing, Einstein: When my family came out West in the early 1800s, there were no Hispanics living here. They had abandoned the land because they were unable to live here.
We fought and died and worked to build the Southwest; Hispanics came up and worked seasonally, and then went home. If they were great "builders," then why is Mexico a Third World country?
Where did the guys in your story get all the money to build up their farms? Makes you wonder, huh?
Send tickets to our office, please: White people raped this country. They didn't build it! Immigrants did. I wish all of [you whites] would go back to Europe!
You're welcome: It's nice to see this amazing article. We see only bad comments about Latinos. Your article is a relief. Thank you.
Okay, but the pun would be . . .?: Ah, the lust for gold! Your story was spot on — pun intended.
Such scams as you describe are rampant when there's hunger for the yellow stuff. The old adage that a sucker's born every minute in these United States rings true.
And it's a foundation of capitalism — the American way — that for every 10 suckers, there's a con man to take their money.
All this is to say that while I feel sorry for the people (particularly the old folks) who got taken — and feel that, yes, the guys cheating them are disreputable scum — this kind of thing is inevitable in our money-grubbing land.
Al Cassidy, Phoenix
The feeling's mutual, Leo: Just wanted to say that your "Gold Rush" article was very well written.
I'm one of those guys who is considered on the right, and I appreciate that your article seemed neither right nor left. Just great journalism. I might actually start taking your paper seriously.
Leo Wieck, Phoenix