We need illegal immigrants

  Dear HCN, Your story on the Mexican-American border described in intimate detail the life of an illegal trying to cross, but we are not addressing the root cause of the problem (HCN, 10/9/00: The hunters and the hunted: The Arizona-Mexico border turns into the 21st century frontier).


We think the solution to this problem is to create jobs on both sides of the border that will employ non-skilled and semi-skilled workers so that they won't need to migrate here in search of jobs. The College of Engineering at New Mexico State University is interested in creating a talent pool of young engineers who will stay in the immediate vicinity to help create these jobs by creating more manufacturing facilities in the region around El Paso-Las Cruces.


One thing I see as I travel around the country consulting for various companies is the presence of illegals everywhere. Just go into any Wal-Mart and look at the customer population. I bet that even in Paonia, Colo., if you look carefully, you can find a few illegals. They tend to get across the border and find the backwater places so that they can live in peace, and will work for far less than most locals to stay here.


While I agree in part with your essayist, Corine Flores, that they may be taking some American jobs, we need these people. Here in Santa Fe, the local youth want to start working at nonskilled jobs at wages that are outrageous. A contractor told me that local people who come to him to ask to learn how to drive a backhoe want $15 to start - with no skills and no heavy-machinery experience. The contractor can hire an illegal who will start at maybe $7 per hour and learn how to use the machine and work his way up to the $15 per hour wage over a period of six months to a year.


Meanwhile, there is a whole network of people here in the states who prey upon these people. In order to go to work for some company like Wal-Mart, they have to have a green card and a social security number. These are available from unscrupulous people who will make up a fake SSN and a very good-looking but fake green card - all for a fee. The SS card costs $75.


Bottom line: There is a lot more to the story than just the interaction with the Border Patrol. You could explore how these people live once they get into the United States. It would include how they find "safe" places to live and how they avoid the police and other law-enforcement authorities and how they manage to live on a level of income that is way below the poverty line here.


Bob Skaggs
Santa Fe, New Mexico
High Country News Classifieds
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Friends of the San Juans (Friends), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is seeking an experienced, passionate, and charismatic environmental leader to continue its strong community leadership...
  • DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT, ARIZONA CHAPTER
    What We Can Achieve Together: Arizona's Director of Development (DoD) is responsible for directing all aspects of one or more development functions, which will secure...
  • CAPACITY BUILDING PROGRAM MANAGER
    What We Can Achieve Together: The Capacity Building Program Manager works directly with the business unit's Arizona Healthy Cities Program Director to advance the Healthy...
  • MEMBERSHIP AND OFFICE MANAGER - FRIENDS OF THE INYO
    Friends of the Inyo - Donor database management & reporting, IT/HR, and office administrative support. PT or FT. Partly remote OK but some in-office time...
  • NORTHERN NEW MEXICO PROJECT MANAGER
    New Mexico Land Conservancy is seeking a qualified Northern New Mexico Project Manager to provide expertise, leadership and support to the organization by planning, cultivating,...
  • GRAPHIC AND DIGITAL DESIGNER
    Application deadline: December 17, 2022 Expected start date: January 16, 2023 Location: Amazon Watch headquarters in Oakland, CA Amazon Watch is a dynamic nonprofit organization...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Eugene, Ore. nonprofit Long Tom Watershed Council is seeking a highly collaborative individual to lead a talented, dedicated team of professionals. Full-time: $77,000 - $90,000...
  • GIS SPECIALIST
    What We Can Achieve Together: The GIS Specialist provides technical and scientific support for Geographic Information System (GIS) technology, data management, and visualization internally and...
  • LOWER SAN PEDRO PROGRAM MANAGER
    What We Can Achieve Together: The Lower San Pedro Program Manager directs some or all aspects of protection, science, stewardship and community relations for the...
  • FOREST RESTORATION SPATIAL DATA MANAGER
    What We Can Achieve Together: The Forest Restoration Spatial Data Manager fills an integral role in leading the design and development of, as well as...
  • WATER PROJECTS MANAGER, SOUTHERN AZ
    What We Can Achieve Together: Working hybrid in Tucson, AZ or remote from Sierra Vista, AZ or other southern Arizona locations, the Water Projects Manager,...
  • SENIOR STAFF THERAPIST/PSYCHOLOGIST: NATIVE AMERICAN STUDENT SPECIALIST
    Counseling Services is a department strategically integrated with Health Services within the Division of Student Services and Enrollment Management. Our Mission at the Counseling Center...
  • THE NATURE CONSERVANCY IS HIRING A LOCAL INITIATIVES COORDINATOR
    The Nature Conservancy in Wyoming seeks a Local Initiatives Coordinator to join our team. We're looking for a great communicator to develop, manage and advance...
  • LAND AND WATER PROTECTION MANAGER - NORTHERN ARIZONA
    We're Looking for You: Are you looking for a career to help people and nature? Guided by science, TNC creates innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our...
  • SENIOR CLIMATE CONSERVATION ASSOCIATE
    The Greater Yellowstone Coalition (GYC) seeks a Senior Climate Conservation Associate (SCCA) to play a key role in major campaigns to protect the lands, waters,...
  • CORTEZ COLORADO LOT FOR SALE
    Historic tree-lined Montezuma Ave. Zoned Neighborhood Business. Build your dream house or business right in the heart of town. $74,000. Southwest Realty
  • ENVIRONMENTAL AND CONSTRUCTION GEOPHYSICS
    - We find groundwater, buried debris and assist with new construction projects for a fraction of drilling costs.
  • STRAWBALE HOME BESIDE MONTEZUMA WELL NAT'L MONUMENT
    Straw Bale Home beside Montezuma Well National Monument. Our property looks out at Arizona fabled Mogollon Rim and is a short walk to perennial Beaver...
  • ATTORNEY AD
    Criminal Defense, Code Enforcement, Water Rights, Mental Health Defense, Resentencing.
  • LUNATEC HYDRATION SPRAY BOTTLE
    A must for campers and outdoor enthusiasts. Cools, cleans and hydrates with mist, stream and shower patterns. Hundreds of uses.