My mother and her family came to the United States through Ellis Island, so I know something about immigration.

I used to ask my students, "What would it take for you to leave your home, kiss your mother good-bye, and go to a place where you didn't know the language or just what you would do when you got there?"

The obvious answer is that you would have to be very desperate. That is what we're seeing on the news every evening — desperate people looking for a safe haven. So how do we deal with them? It would not be practical for the more stable countries to absorb all the people who want to immigrate. That would drag everyone down.

If there is a solution, it would have to start with stabilizing the sources.

Most Syrians, Somalis and Guatemalans would prefer to stay home if they felt secure and well fed. We should be working toward that goal rather than talking about building more barriers.

James A. Booker

Mankato

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