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AN AGGIE LINE: USU cheerleaders perform during the Aggies' final exhibition game. It's time to cheer for basketball. / Photo by Brianna Mortensen

Today's word on journalism

Friday, November 10, 2006

Q&A with Ed Bradley:

Q: What single issue should be covered more at CBS News?
A: Foreign news.

Q: Have you ever been assigned a story you objected to? How did you deal with it?
A: When I first started in New York at WCBS radio, the assignment editor automatically assigned any story that had a minority in it to me. I objected to being typecast and told him if I didn't get a variety of stories -- as other reporters did -- then I would take it up with the news director.

Q: If you were not in news, what would you be doing?
A: If I had the talent, I'd play bass guitar and sing in a kicking band.

--Ed Bradley, reporter, "60 Minutes," died yesterday of leukemia at age 65 (2006)

Give more people the opportunity to become U.S. citizens

Read a letter to the editor written in response to this column

By Steve Shinney

October 4, 2006 | If Neil Diamond is to be believed -- and he's never steered us wrong before -- people are coming to America, today. The question is not whether or not people will come to America. Everyone who has ever lived on this continent, even Native Americans if you go back so far it doesn't matter, has ancestors who come from somewhere else.

It's also not a question of whether or not people will come here legally. The last 20 years has shown us that no natural body of water from the Rio Grande to the Pacific Ocean will prevent people from coming here. Does anyone honestly think a chain link fence is going to change that?

The question then becomes, what will these people searching for a better life, find when they get here?

Simple economical logistics show the United States cannot take care of everyone in the world. But we can take care of more than we are now.

Rather than just closing our countries doors to the world or flinging them open to the world, America as a nation should look for something in between the two extremes.

Rather than spend millions of dollars trying to catch illegal immigrants, why not make immigration easier? Improvements need to be made both in the number of applicants allowed to legally take up residence each year and in the ease of the necessary process.

The benefits of such reform are many. If a higher number of people coming into this country are legal, the government can keep tabs on them. New Americans will be able to enjoy the health, educational and other benefits those of us born here enjoy. Many lives of people making the treacherous journey to come here through unofficial channels could be saved. There's a drastically lower chance for starving in line at an embassy as there is in the desert.

Being a citizen doesn't guarantee these people will obtain the American dream, but it does ensure minimum wage. With a living income, these people could be taxed, money that could be used in a thousand different places, even in further efforts to curb illegal immigration. We could still limit the number of people coming into our country and help more people make better lives for themselves here.

The people most benefited by these changes would be those who would never think to do anything illegal. Many people who came to American within the system have found the land of opportunity has become the land of red tape and long lines. These people aren't helped by the average American's ignorance. Many people out there think becoming a citizen requires nothing more than signing a few papers.

Reality is not so simple. Jay Salmon, a recent USU graduate, spent almost a year and over $1,000 to merely apply for -- not necessarily get -- a green card, and he was married to an American girl and is from freakin' Canada. That's America, Jr. So, contrary to popular belief, simply marrying an American does not guarantee citizenship. Are we really the kind of country that would force a family to split up because one of the parents didn't fill out enough forms?

As of right now, we are.

This needs to change. America needs to be more friendly to people coming here. We can do this, making the lives of new arrivals easier and safer while still controlling the number of people who enter our borders.

Also, the general population needs to be more aware of what's going on. Every American should learn the immigration laws. Not the entire encyclopedia worth obviously, but the basics. If you don't care, step outside your comfort zone and make friends with someone from another country trying to make it here. That should change your outlook.

NW
RB

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