Opportunity is knocking on our Southern border but, unfortunately, some Americans can’t see it. I am not suggesting we open borders. I am suggesting we open our minds.

When countries with strong economies acknowledge that immigrants are an affordable, reliable workforce capable of filling many basic job positions, everyone wins. At the beginning of the last century, dangerous jobs in the coal mines were filled by European immigrants. It was a win/win/win for America. Corporations were able to profit while keeping energy prices low and many immigrants were able to find hope for the future. In Canada, where over half the population has a college education, all kinds of service jobs were not being filled, so they opened their doors to Filipino immigrants. Germany recently took in refugees from North Africa because they anticipated a shortage of caregivers for their aging population. About 10% of the North African refugees were integrated into a few European countries.

We currently have a shortage of workers in many categories. A recent news report said a shortage of truck drivers is driving up prices. Like Germany, we have an aging population and, like Canada, more young people are getting a college education. Also, some local companies are offering $17 per hour for factory workers and are still not able to fill positions. Manufacturing will not stay here in America if we don’t have a labor force. Do you think we’re going to be able to rebuild our infrastructure without a labor force? In addition, the lack of skilled tradesman has enabled contractors to grossly overcharge for home improvements and urgent repairs.

Here, in the Winchester area, unemployment is typically about 3%, which essentially means anyone who wants to work has a job. So, the decisions we make today about immigrants will determine whether we have or can afford the services we need in the future.

The trumped-up language of hate and fear towards immigrants has been a distraction away from logical thinking and reasoning. Immigrants are hardworking people who just want a chance to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. The challenges they’ve encountered have instilled desirable work ethics and a deep appreciation for minimal opportunities. And with a small investment of equity, they can easily integrate into America, pay taxes, and contribute to the common good. Bringing more legal immigrants into our country is a wise win/win solution.

I believe a well-regulated vetting at embassies in Central America, specifically Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, could create a legal pathway to citizenship and eventually stop the border influx.

Ken Kovach is a resident of Frederick County.

(15) comments

DavidSparkman

From Pew Research from 5 years ago (2017)L An estimated 36.6 million Hispanics of Mexican origin lived in the United States in 2017, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey."

That is about 10% of our population. The argument that we need more low level workers actually retards income growth for middle Americans and slows automation. In addition, they are a large part of our welfare costs as politicians try to purchase votes with our tax money. If our boarders were totally open to immigrates, there are at least 100 million from China and the same from India who would love to come here. Such decisions have consequences for the rest of us.

Ken Kovach

David Sparkman,

I am not surprised that 10% of our population is of Mexican origin considering the Mexico border once encompassed all of the land south and west of the Louisiana Purchase. That was before the Mexican American War, AKA the US Invasion of Mexico. Today, we call the descendants of the early ancestors of California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado, Americans. So, to clump them and infer they are a welfare burden is so wrong and alt-right republican.

Also, I am not sure why you want to talk about Mexicans, open boarders, and China? This forum is about opening our minds. Mexico is not one of the three central American countries that people are escaping from. The three countries mentioned have a total population of 13 million and we can help some of them and help ourselves by vetting a few more.

Chupacabra

As long as immigrants come here legally, fine with me. But the illegal ones do not deserve to be here at all, and neither do their children. Turn the criminals away, ASAP.

Ken Kovach

Doc Samson, you’re takeaway from this letter is confusing. You’re reading things into it that are not there.

Doc Samson

Apologies as I read too quickly.

"The trumped-up language of hate and fear towards immigrants" makes assumptions that I've never heard or seen expressed here. Again, there is a clear difference in attitude towards those who follow the law to get here and those who do not.

"Immigrants are hardworking people who just want a chance to pull themselves up by their bootstraps" That is quite the generalization. Are there some who fit this description? Of course. Are there some who come here for significantly less noble reasons? Most definitely. View the verifiable data on illegal immigrants and felony crimes.

I do agree that real vetting is the key and would gladly welcome anyone who was willing to 1. Follow the laws to get here, and 2. passed a legit vetting process.

Ken Kovach

Doc Samson, hindsight is 20/20. I should have been a little more diplomatic with my words and said, “I BELIEVE THAT, FOR THE MOST PART, Immigrants are hardworking people who just want a chance to pull themselves up by their bootstraps."

Also, consider the following scenario. You have no trespassing signs around your neighborhood and a young family carrying children runs to your front door asking for refuge from drug dealers. How could anyone turn them away and say, can’t you read the signs? This is my perception of most people crossing our border. Add the fact that they traveled a thousand miles to get to you.

Their government has failed them and they are victims. The irony is they would probable not be escaping corruption if America did not create the drug market.

Doc Samson

"Their government has failed them and they are victims."

I agree that there surely are many who are fleeing bad situations but that is true across the globe and, unfortunately, we cannot help every single person in a terrible situation. On the micro level, you can help one family, but what if there were 5? 10? At some point, your ability to help becomes so diluted that it is completely useless. There has to be some form of border control or you might as well not have any border at all. In addition, there are many "bad agents" who are taking advantage of the lax enforcement and who are doing horrific things to the young girls of these families while "helping" them cross the border. It's a terrible situation all around but allowing some to break the rules while holding others to those same rules isn't the answer.

As for the gov't, if the "people" don't effect a change, who will? Running from the issues doesn't solve them. Perhaps we should help empower them so that they have the means to make their gov't accountable?

Journey2goremtns1

lol....I knew TRUMP would show up somewhere in this letter.

Doc Samson

@Journey - Because... of course! Funny how our resident Leftists have taken to the "living rent free" in whoever's mind as an insult while, naturally, they can't see that Trump is clearly romping through an opulent penthouse suite in theirs... [lol]

cuphaus

[thumbup]

Spock Here

Agreed. There is a challenge getting past the corruption in those countries to have them participate in the vetting process. But it is...and always has been...good economic sense to employ legal immigrants. The process needs serious work.

Blondie

One point I would like to make. The reason we have a shortage of truck drivers is because the State makes it so difficult that people are getting tired of it and they would rather choose another profession than to fight the State at every turn.

Doc Samson

@Blondie - [thumbup] So many instances of "legal" Americans being held up by red tape (because they want to follow the laws) while other groups get a pass to flout most laws/guidelines (see the many instances of what passes for "driving" in the area)...

Also, if KK thinks it's a good idea, it's not...

Ken Kovach

Here's your opportunity to tell us why KK is wrong.

Doc Samson

Perhaps the most significant point is that, despite repeated statements to the contrary, you continue to portray those of us who expect immigrants to follow the law to come here as "xenophobic" or "racist". We are not, but either you are a blatant liar, or you are intellectually incapable of discerning what different words actually mean...

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.