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Letter: Immigration reform would honor ancestors, keep talent in state

While the U.S. Senate debates the merits of comprehensive immigration reform, it's important that we not lose sight of the people who are being affected by the current broken system. These people live and work in our communities, attend our churches, pay taxes, contribute to society and all they ask for in return is a chance to fulfill their own American dream. Passing immigration reform doesn't mean that we give illegal immigrants a 'free pass,' it simply means that we give them an opportunity to work hard for something that most of us were lucky enough to be born with -- the title of citizen of the United States.

Additionally, our North Dakota colleges and universities are educating some of the best and brightest minds from all around the world. Under the current flawed immigration system, we allow these students to utilize our exceptional universities, our state's resources and technology, and then we are forced to send these talented individuals back to their home countries with their new found knowledge and skills and away from North Dakota where we desperately need these workers to stay. In a state that has a shortage of doctors, nurses, and just about every profession you can imagine, we can't afford to lose these well-trained minds to another country.

We are a nation of immigrants; it's important to not forget where we come from and allow others the opportunity our not-so-distant ancestors were afforded. Let's pass immigration reform to honor our ancestors and to keep new talent here to work, buy houses, raise families and help our state flourish.

Mary C. Tintes

West Fargo