|lived here awhile. Just recently,
House Speaker Thomas P. O'Neill announced there would be no formal consideration
of the bill this year. Still, the issue is likely to be with us in the
In the United States and Arizona, the undocumented
alien population continues to grow. Firm numbers are hard to come by, but
it is estimated that there are between 3.5 and 10 million undocumented
aliens in the U.S. today. In Arizona, the Tucson Border Patrol reports
a 12% increase in the apprehensions of undocumented aliens in 1983. The
Yuma Border Patrol has reported 10 consecutive record months in terms of
apprehensions -- from September of 1982, through June of 1983. Overall,
from January through mid-August of this year, Yuma officials report a 36%
increase in arrests of undocumented aliens over the same period last year.
Although opinions on the immigration issue were sharply divided, I found
the comments by the audience and panelists to be very informative.
Margarita B. Bernal, Board of Directors, El Consilio
Manzo, citing from a paper by Peter Shey.
|"Congress would do well to proceed cautiously
adopting the type of wide-ranging proposals contained in the Simpson-Mazzoli
bill. While there is general agreement on the right of nation states to
control the movement of people across their borders, the manner in which
such control is exercised has international repercussions between states
and global conditions."
Tom Miller, author of On the Border.
|"My suggestion is simple. We should do nothing.
Maintain the status quo. Don't waste time tinkering with the inevitable.
The Simpson-Mazzoli bill is symbolic and nothing more. Patterns of migration
from Latin America to the United States were established before a Border
Patrol existed, and long before the INS came about. Previous "reforms"
have done nothing to change land migration. Migration is brought about
for reasons of economic hardships, political oppression and tradition.
An Act of Congress will change none of these. . . . If you lined up Border
Patrol men shoulder to shoulder from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific
Ocean -- that's 2.5 million border guards, by my calculations -- you would
still have a problem."
Ramona Jean Corrales, Director of Chicanos Por
La Causa, Somerton.
|"The main Problem with the present immigration
law is that Mexico is only allotted 20,000 visa numbers per year. The 20,000
is inadequate for
|the visa demand from Mexico. We are too close
in proximity to Mexico to expect a family to leave a newborn, a spouse
or minor child in Mexico until visa numbers become available in 11 or 15
Arizona's common border with Mexico stretches
372 miles from California to New Mexico. This international boundary is
an important and unique aspect of our state.
Our Mexican neighbors contribute significantly
to Arizona's economy. In 1981, Mexican visitors spent over $622 million
in Arizona. The recent peso devaluations have severely damaged the economies
of our border communities. Sales revenues in Nogales for December of last
year were down
62% from 1981. At the same time that sales revenues were
plummeting, unemployment was rising. The unemployment rate for July of
this year was over 27% in both Santa Cruz and Yuma counties. San Luis continues
to be a major entry point for migrant labor and Nogales continues to be
a major entry port for Mexican produce.
We have a whole range of common interests along
the border. Many people have extended families and conduct business on
both sides of the border. Some comments and concerns about the border raised
during our forums:
Dr. Carlos G. Velez-Ibanez, University of Arizona.
|"What I suggest is that we need to establish
a private or quasi-public foundation which addresses the long range developmental
needs of the borderlands with resources from the private, public and labor
sectors. Public agencies and governmental institutions alone cannot be
relied upon since most are financially overburdened while legal restrictions
greatly limit the utilization of public monies. A Borderlands Development
Foundation could be an attractive alternative since its resources would
not be dependent on either public
budgets nor restricted by legal boundaries."
Humberto S. Lopez, President, HSL Properties.
|"Here in Arizona we can appreciate the fact
that Mexico has not suffered in isolation. With each devaluation our border
towns have been devastated. . . . Unfortunately, it is my opinion that
in the short run there will have to be another correction in the monetary
Tom Espinosa, Executive Director, Chicanos Por