Get out, and stay out

  I have enjoyed reading your newspaper for over 10 years. However, when I read the new editor’s call for amnesty for all undocumented aliens in the U.S., I realized that HCN is no longer a paper for people that “care about the West.”

Regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum, anyone who takes a realistic look at the environmental problems facing the West understands that population growth is the driving force that is destroying the clean air, clean water, wildlife and open space that we all love. The population growth of U.S. citizens is reaching a plateau and that growth is coming from immigration (primarily illegal immigration). To see your new editor side with the Bush/corporate/open borders camp is reprehensible for any sort of publication that seeks to speak authoritatively on environmental issues.

Craig Coonrad
Bainbridge Island, Washington
Apr 23, 2007 11:20 AM

I have worked in Mexico for years and supervised Mexicans, both legal and questionable, in the states. First, the fiction that they don't pay taxes: Hardly anyone hires people without a Social Security card and the taxes are paid into the treasury. Legals get a portion of it back just like you and me but the illegals forfeit it, along with the state and other taxes they paid when they go back home.

Another little know fact is that along with their hard-won money they are taking democracy home with them. I learned this when an indian ejido in Oaxaca faced off with Pemex, captured one of my helicopters and wouldn't release it until they were paid the fees promised them by Pemex. Pemex wanted to use their private police force to lead local police against the leaders but we (the American contracting company) wouldn't let them. After the incident I met the leaders and found that all of them worked in the States and learned here that they had inalienable rights they were now willing to fight, and possibly die, for.

The money those people earn here pays for the education of their children (the state pays only through the fourth grade), paving streets in their rural towns, drainage and sewage systems, electricity (the government only brings power to the main plaza), and many other federal and municipal services we take for granted. And it comes out of the pockets of people who work for less than ten dollars and hour, most often half that.

I won't go on but suffice to say that much of the rhetoric about immigration from (especially) Mexico is based on a lack of knowledge and is, as far as I can see, a fresher sort of racism this country is famous for.

Jon Horton

Colorado Springs