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Letter: A moral and compassionate approach to the border

With much verbiage (hate to call it debate) calling some people unpatriotic,

America-hating, racist, compassionless and a whole host of other things

regarding the U.S. immigration policy, I would like to point out an observation that to this point I have not heard.

As president Obama stated clearly, our immigration system is broken.

There are many arguments from the right and left that I will not address

directly. Those concerns include national security, compassion for Dreamers, control of sex trafficking, too much money, compassion for immigrants and a host of other concerns.

While many of these are valid concerns, I believe there is a moral ground that reasonable people of any political persuasion will find palatable.

What I am suggesting is that there is a moral obligation to deal with

the situation in a way that overshadows the outrage of both the right and the left.

It has been estimated that each undocumented person crossing the

border pays the cartels upwards of $5,000. This money strengthens the

cartels to do the things that they do. Some earn their way by being drug mules, sending the money back home.

Money strengthens the cartels, all of which:

- Increases human trafficking and the sex slave trade.

- Gives power to unlawful organizations and individuals in U.S. which

destabilizes communities.

- Gives power to the cartels to destabilize the Latin American countries.

- Increases drug trafficking.

Human trafficking is a well-known part of the cartel's business model. During the perilous journey, many people are sexually molested as they travel to come to the U.S.

While I do not know the number of people forced into slavery of one

kind or another, I do know people who are involved in rescuing women from the sex trade.

It is difficult to get people to help rescue these women for fear of

violent retaliation from the cartel, who see helping as stealing their

"property." The money that the cartels get empowers them to network and

intimidate. The current broken U.S. immigration policy helps to fund this tragedy.

The power that gangs and individuals have has disrupted communities, and

added to the dangerous environment we see in many of our communities. Again, they rule by intimidation and violence. They are able to strengthen their participation of locals because of the lure of money and power. People are unwilling to stop them because of the risk to personal safety. Again, the current broken U.S. immigration policy helps to fund this tragedy.

My father grew up in the 1920s in Chicago. He witnessed three machine

gunnings, but in none of those situations did he go to the police, because of

the power of organized crime. He would say during that time, if a Chicago

politician said he did not know people in organized crime he was either lying or soon to be dead.

The same seems to be true in much of Latin America. The abundance of

money the cartels have enables them to bribe, intimidate and kill officials

who refuse to go along with them. This makes many parts of countries like

Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico and others very dangerous places to live.

Once again, the current broken US immigration policy helps to fund this tragedy.

With the money the cartels have, they are able to create an environment that gives them free reign in the drug trade. The current broken U.S. immigration policy helps to fund the tragedy.

As most of you have seen, over the decades our laws have been

ineffective in preventing the growth of the power of the cartels, both in the

U.S. and across Latin America. Dealing with the situation is not a matter of

greed, lack of caring or racism. Compassion for humanity and human suffering demands that strong action be taken.

Some of the interventions I believe would help are:

- A stronger guest worker program.

- An end to catch and release policies.

- E-verify workers.

- Increase border patrol.

- Build the wall.

All of these interventions would decrease the incentive for people to

come to the U.S. illegally, decrease their need to cooperate with the cartels,

make U.S. communities better places to live, and provide opportunity for Latin American countries to be better places to live. Compassion demands that these strong interventions be implemented. — Michael Walther, Callaway