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Cambridge (MN) Star Publishes Letter to Editor from Minnesota Advocates' Staff Member
4/17/2006 12:25 PM

Education Program Assistant Aaron Van Alstine's letter to the editor was published the Cambridge (MN) Star, his hometown paper.


Is it just me, or do we have a serious problem on our hands?  Just about everywhere people are debating immigration, but without looking at the facts.

One percent. This is the percentage of our population without legal permission to be here.  When 99 percent of Minnesota’s population has permission to be here, I ask myself, “Are we really being ‘overrun’ by ‘illegal’ immigrants?”

Within this 1 percent of the population, 40 percent are people who came here legally but whose visas have expired.

Within this 1 percent of the population, 96 percent of the men are working and are economically self-sufficient.

Within this 1 percent of the population, 99.99 percent poses no terrorist threat, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

While it is true that our communities are influenced by immigration, the facts show that neither Cambridge nor Minnesota is being ‘overrun’ by undocumented immigrants (the “illegals”), as many would have us believe. In fact, without immigration many of our rural communities would be shrinking and entire industries would be scrambling to find workers.

House Representative Rob Eastlund of Cambridge should be praised for his sensible approach to this complex issue.  He has proposed the creation of a Minnesota Immigration Task Force to study immigration issues, acknowledging the need for more facts when making important decisions that affect us all. 

Eastlund’s sensible approach is exactly what we need when debating immigration – more fact, less fiction. 

To read the letter to the editor on the newspaper's website, click here.