Letters: Where readers stand on immigration

ColoradoBiz sought the views in the past month from both sides of Arizona’s controversial immigration law, inviting several columnists to make their case, both from a business and social standpoint, for or against the law that is slated to take effect in July. Columnists who weighed in included Jeff Campos, president and CEO of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Denver (“When government takes a wrong turn”), Mike Taylor, ColoradoBiz managing editor (“Arizona’s law a step in the right direction”) and John Gimple, president of Gimple Roof Engineers Inc., Arvada, (“Putting U.S. citizens first”).

Reactions to the columns posted at www.cobizmag.com began pouring in immediately. Most posts came down in favor of the law, which makes it a misdemeanor for an alien to fail to carry certain documents and which the law’s detractors say will lead to racial profiling. Following are a few of the responses, edited for space, that can be found in their entirety at www.cobizmag.com:

I’ll boycott your boycott
Re: “When government takes a wrong turn”:
I want our/your government to enforce the immigration laws. I want people to follow the path defined to become citizens. I also want heavier penalties for businesses that employ illegals. Make it a felony if it is done knowingly! That would have an impact. We all need to quit disguising reality and make tough decisions.
A boycott? Really? What next, is the Hispanic Chamber going to support amnesty?
I am going to boycott your boycott and visit Arizona to spend my money.
– Rick Brewster, Parker

We need a guest-worker program
Re:”When government takes a wrong turn”:
I am just as much in favor of legal immigration as anyone else. But that is the problem. There is no legal channel for the vast majority of the foreign work force. There is NO VISA CATEGORY AT ALL for year-round nonagricultural jobs that do not require a four year degree. This means that for 75 percent of the entire job force there is no visa category. So the default in the absence of U.S. workers is illegal immigration. That has to change. We need a guest worker program that will allow lesser skilled workers to enter the U.S. to fill jobs in our system that cannot be filled by U.S. workers.
I applaud the business community for speaking out on this issue, and am happy to join you in the cause.
– Jeff Joseph,
Joseph Immigration Law Firm P.C., Denver

Aliens not alone in breaking the law
Re: “Arizona’s law a step in the right direction”:
The loud silence I’m hearing is upstream of the illegal immigration – who is hiring illegals, and why aren’t those businesses, organizations and individuals targeted?
If we combat the demand, the supply will also adjust. Our own economic downturn stemmed some of the illegal immigration tide.
This is an ugly side of the situation for business. Why not ‘fess up about it instead of persecuting the illegals. … They are simply too easy a target.
I wish for the sake of rational debate that others would address the significant issue of those who employ illegal aliens.
– Patricia B. Smith, principal, 
OnTarget Public Relations, Denver

It’s not all about illegalS
Re: “Putting U.S. citizens first”:
Illegals are not the only ones who are using public health benefits. There are thousands of working Americans whose employers cannot or do not provide health insurance coverage and who find the cheapest labor possible. This is not all about the illegal workers … it’s also about employers.
That side of the debate is loudly silent. Let’s hear more about this. Nobody wants to resort to public aid at the end of the day … but they need to take care of themselves and their kids.
– Patricia B. Smith

Hispanic supports law
Re: “When government takes a wrong turn”:
No one is arguing about cultural evolution – America is the melting pot of the world!
The only question I have for you is: Are our fellow brothers without a Green Card entering the U.S. legally or illegally? If you answered the latter, there isn’t any need to discuss the issue further.
However I will. I am Hispanic, I am proud to be a tax-paying, LAW-ABIDING citizen of the United States and more importantly that I can stand up to support Arizona’s state law simply because I cannot and will not support any individual who’s very first activity is breaking the law!
Overlooking the fact that any illegal action is or should be acceptable is not only reprehensible by the people supporting the offense, but unethical … especially those in respected positions whether they be in our chambers, businesses or government.
– Gaylene Garbizo, Denver

In last month’s issue that ranked Colorado’s Top 100 Public Companies, the 2009 revenues, net income and ranking for Red Robin Gourmet Burgers were incorrect. The company’s actual revenues for 2009 were $841,045,000, which placed it No. 25 in the ranking, and its net income was $17.599 million.
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