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On Immigration: Dick Day Meet Fellow Republican Joe Gimse

Category: Immigration
Posted: 10/29/07 16:09, Edited: 10/29/07 16:11

by Dave Mindeman

First we have Governor Pawlenty willing to draw attention to global warming issues and now, I see, we have a Republican State Senator making sense on (gasp!) immigration issues.

Pinch me, please.

State Senator Joe Gimse of Willmar (who defeated Sen. Dean Johnson in 2006), actually used words like "hard working undocumented workers" or "remove the criminal aspect of being here to work". Sen. Gimse is treading on dangerous ground for him because so many conservative Republicans are afraid of sounding that compassionate and rational on the subject.

He even talks of support for the Dream Act if a way of documenting these workers can be found. (Whose dreaming?)

An important caveat... Senator Gimse is certainly not a full fledged convert to the plight of immigrants... but the change in tone is somewhat encouraging. His Senate GOP Immigration caucus consists of himself, Sen. Fischbach, Sen. Hann, and Sen. Ingibritson. Not a bad group if you don't count Fischbach.

I hope Senator Gimse has the courage to follow this through. I don't doubt that Willmar businesses have something to do with this. They need these workers and are looking for compromise.

If everyone would examine these issues realistically (as Sen. Gimse gives lip service to be doing) and stop the extreme rhetoric, we could find a way to please everybody.

A recent article on MSNBC noted that farmers in NY state are losing their vegetable crops. Migrant workers are scared away because of the ICE raids and the crops are rotting in the fields. You might say the easy answer would be to raise the salaries of these jobs so that Americans could make a decent living by picking up the work.

Unfortunately, CAFTA and NAFTA have eliminated that solution. US Agriculture can't compete with Central America and European subsidies... so without the migrant labor, the farms have to shut down or shift to less labor intensive crops.

As Congressional Candidate Dick Day employs his harsh rhetoric to divide the First District via immigration misinformation, maybe Senator Gimse can give him some pointers on dealing with rational thought.
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