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Immigration reform as a national priority
La Voz Staff Photo

By David Conde

As the Biden administration takes over, there are obvious priorities to be addressed. The most important are the Coronavirus Pandemic and the economic devastation it has caused.

At this point, the crimes committed by Donald Trump, his family and his allies are a sideshow that, although garnering media attention and that of the country, nevertheless are of less importance than the clean up of the mess created by the previous administration. The impeachment of the Trump and the condemnation and prosecution of his enablers should not take away from the effort to get the country back on track.

Twelve years ago, the Great Recession was at its height and there was no time to waste in dealing with the economic setback of the country. Through great effort by government and the private sector, the business structure of the America was corrected and the economy stimulated to achieve recovery.

The next major project of the Obama administration led to a push for a national medical insurance program that was successful after decades of trying by both Democratic and Republican leadership. The other major priority of the time, Immigration Reform, was lost in the process of political change.

The United States was founded by descendants of immigrants that came to claim new opportunities in this vast land. Since the beginning, the energy to settle and work to find prosperity was provided by a people that left their homes to cross the Atlantic and build a new life.

The historical landscape of the American West is dotted with stories of wagon trains, settlements and farms. The ôNestorö and the ôSod-busterö were some of the names given by cattlemen to these newcomers that planted crops, erected fences and built the towns that became the centers for new commerce.

Also contributing to this was The Pacific Railroad Act of 1862 that made way for the Transcontinental railroad and the Homestead Act of the same year that gave those going west the right to 162 acres of land out of the federal trust. This together with immigrant willingness to brave the frontier and build communities has been one of the most important stories of our countryĺs history. The bravery, ingenuity and hard work helped to make a great nation that took its place as leader of the world in the 20th Century.

The economic sector most negatively affected by COVID-19 has been small businesses. This is very serious because it is the start-ups by families and entrepreneurs that provide the creative energy for jobs that lead to future growth and prosperity.

Everyone in the public and private arenas recognize that small businesses are closing and that many are not coming back. To combat this, the government is allocating large amounts of stimulus funds and resources to help them weather the storm.

This is where the immigrant community again comes in as it is creating 30 percent of all new small businesses. Immigrants have traditionally been part of the engine of progress at the grass roots level.

The fact that brown is their skin color does not preclude their fundamental role in making and keeping America great. Also, among the many traditions this country celebrates is the work ethic and that has been an engendered lesson that every American generation receives from it immigrants.

Immigration Reform is one of several ways to effectively express an economic development theme for our country that brings back small business creation and support. All it takes is an invitation to hard work and a green card.





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