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Wayne Trottier, Northwood, N.D., column: Yes, N.D. has an illegal-immigrant problem

By Wayne Trottier

NORTHWOOD, N.D. -- I am the candidate who listed the "illegal immigrant" problem in my campaign brochure, as Herald columnist Ryan Bakken noted ("On the right side of an election victory," Page B1, Nov. 6).

The other candidates had nothing to do with any of these statements. I absolutely did not use it as a Republican issue to get votes.

I sincerely believe that North Dakota does have illegal immigrants living and working in our state. I believe Herald readers could ask many law enforcement officials, and they would confirm this statement.

This is a national problem that our federal government does not seem to address. It is not just Arizona, although they probably have the worst problem. Illegal immigrants use our health care system free of charge, our school systems free of charge, our food stamp program free of charge and interpreters in our schools, hospitals and other services -- free of charge.

As I understand it, our ancestors who were Norwegians, Germans, German-Russians and others had to have a sponsor when they came to this country. That sponsor had to be responsible for them; then they became legal citizens.

And one of the first things they did was learn English. No one apologized for any of this. This was and is the greatest country on Earth, and all most of us want is to keep it that way.

A related but even bigger issue is the drugs that are coming across and being distributed all over the U.S. Again, talk to our law enforcement officials and ask them about the drug problems in our own state. The list goes on.

There are about 15 million to 20 million illegals in the U.S. The federal government reports we have about 15 million unemployed people in the U.S. Hello: If the illegals all were all sent home, we wouldn't have enough workers to fill all the jobs.

Americans would not do many of these jobs, some people say. But maybe if the government-run unemployment insurance said that a person had to take a job if one were available, we could get the economy going again, and people would have the pride this country has known in the past.

Also, we could give work visas to immigrants who want to come in and work and have an employer who'd be willing to sponsor and be responsible for them.

I believe there is enough support in North Dakota to try to do what is right for the U.S. This is not a "righty political" thing, as Bakken stated. It simply is making things legal and right.

When Canadians come over, they come over legal. God bless them. They respect our country's laws and our way of life; we in turn respect theirs.

We now have to have a passport to visit their great country. This is the law our governments made, and we abide by it. It is just right.

Our federal elected officials seem to be afraid to address this problem. They seem to be afraid that they may lose the Latino vote. How sad that a minority of Americans can influence our officials concerning such a large economic and drug issue.

Washington says it is concerned for our children and grandchildren and the future of our country. If so, then the U.S. government must address this issue before we are taken over.

Illegal immigrants already have influenced one election. I have visited with legal immigrants of Mexican descent, and they feel that those who now are crossing the border should do what they had to do: come across legally.

Trottier, a Republican, is representative-elect of North Dakota House District 19.