Border battle

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The immigration bill recently passed by the U.S. Senate doubles the number of border patrol agents along the U.S.-Mexico border to at least 38,405. The bill adds 350 miles of fencing completing 700 miles of pedestrian fencing along the border. The fence will predominately stop impoverished people seeking to find work in the U.S. doing jobs like picking crops for very low wages and under poor working conditions that U.S. citizens refuse to take. All border security in the bill will cost $46 billion.

After 10 years in provisional status, immigrants can seek a green card -- if they are current on their taxes; pay a $1,000 fine, meet work requirements and learn English. When I was growing up in New York. I knew any number of hard-working people who didn't speak English and yet lived productive lives, raising their families and being grateful for living in America.

The bill now passes on to the House of Representatives, dominated by Republicans who don't want a successful immigration bill and will try to add draconian measures to try to assure that the bill doesn't become law.

For those who have forgotten, the traditional border with Mexico was 150 miles north of today's border. In 1846, President James Polk sent his top general, Zachary Taylor, to invade, overrun and occupy Mexico. When the U.S. declared war against Mexico, it was over the Texas boundary that was set at the Rio Grande. New Mexico and California were ceded.

In this or any other bill, we are trying to protect a border that is not historically ours.

AL ANDREWS
Mt. Lebanon


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