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Immigration question in hard-up Arizona

by
31 January 2014

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From Mrs Margaret A. Smith

Sir, - I should like to correct the four bishops in the United States with regard to the Arizona residents', including the politicians', lacking in compassion (News, 10 January).

The gate was only closed to immigrants in 2010, when the financial state of Arizona became desperate, and immigrants were having to be housed in prisons. Jan Brewer, the Governor, and her colleagues borrowed and borrowed in loans, and, because of the fiscal situation, are having great difficulty in repaying them. State buildings and state parks are in danger of having to close, which will endanger the tourist industry. Teachers are able to work only two days a week, on a very low salary. I met one teacher selling T-shirts in Sedona in order to live.

The Churches of many denominations are doing their best to help the immigrants already living in Arizona with work, and some even purchase condominiums to house homeless people. There are many Mexican supermarkets with superb produce, beautifully displayed and much cheaper than in American supermarkets. My family use these all the time.

The beautiful Arizona desert is gradually being eaten up, to ease the desperate housing situation. It is hard and terrible to witness these poor immigrants trying desparately to get to safety away from the drug cartels who attack, rape, and murder them.

I have also witnessed the wonderful help and activities for immigrant and deprived children. My daughter is very much a part of this. Racism is rare: all colours and creeds live side by side in a friendly manner.

I suggest that other states in America share the burdens of immigration, open their doors to house these suffering people, and not leave it to one very impoverished but compassionate state - namely, Arizona.

I have lived in this state from time to time over the past 20 years, and very recently I have witnessed the decline.

MARGARET A. SMITH
Room 27, Fletcher House
Glastonbury Road
Wells
Somerset BA5 1TN

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