Posted on October 30, 2011



GOP presidential candidates and tea partiers are cozy at their table, and Republican activists could be pushing their eventual presidential candidate off a cliff over illegal immigration.

The candidates have adopted a hard line on the issue, and they have been rewarded while the candidates who favor a more moderate approach has been punished.

Local immigration laws passed in Georgia, Alabama, Colorado and Washington by Republican dominated legislatures has resulted in crops left in the field or orchard. Georgia and Alabama passed laws prohibiting immigrants with work permits from entering the harvest fields.

Out-of-work Americans did not do the work to harvest crops. The result is that produce costs consumers more in the store.

The root of he illegal immigration problem is economic. People come to this country and remain illegally in order to feed their families.

In doing so they work hard and do jobs that are essential to our economy. And sustainable solution needs to address the needs of industry and the 11 million illegal immigrants that live and work in our nation.

Public policy that ignores economics is not sustainable. Creating economic incentives for industry and immigrants to do the right and legal thing is a sustainable. Just to deport illegal immigrants is not the answer.

And many Republicans and tea partiers look at enforcement of laws only.

Immigrants are integrated into communities across America. We must adopt a human approach to this reality, reflecting our unique culture, history and spirit of inclusion. The way we treat immigrants will say more about us as a free society and less about our immigrant neighbors.

America should be a place that welcomes people of good will.

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