, Salem, MA


November 2, 2013

Watson: Immigrant farm workers help the economy


The Senate has already passed legislation that would create a 13-year path to citizenship for those here illegally. They would have to pay an assortment of fees, fines, and taxes, and fulfill certain requirements. The path would not be fast or easy.

The proposed bill also includes $46 billion for additional border security measures, including the construction of 350 miles more of border fencing and the hiring of about 19,000 more border patrol officers. It expands the numbers of visas for people with degrees in science, technology, engineering, or math. (The Immigration Policy Center has full legislative details.)

When the House takes up this issue, it is my hope that Congress will pass the proposed reforms but reduce the amount to be spent on additional fencing and new guards. We already have an incredibly militarized border zone, which is actually quite effective. That some number of immigrants still manage to get through the gauntlet is more a testament of their desperation and determination than our border weakness.


Brian T. Watson is a Salem News columnist. Contact him at

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