What’s the solution to our immigration problem? – KOAT New Mexico

Following President Donald Trump’s speech on Tuesday night, head Democrats responded to his address, saying the president is holding Americans “hostage” over the border wall, and some New Mexicans agree.

“It’s a shame how Trump’s using people for political purposes in a very hateful manner,” said Sue Schuurman, with the Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice.

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Advocates said Trump’s “Build the Wall” talk isn’t doing anything to better the country.

“We believe in building bridges and not building walls. These people who are coming over are our relatives. They have more of a right to be here than Trump does,” immigration advocate Lisa Lucero said.

But those who support Trump’s plan say he’s the first president who’s doing something about our country’s decades-old immigration problem.

“It’s finally getting addressed, and it needs to be addressed,” Joe Cocchia, who supports the president’s plan, said. “It doesn’t necessarily have to be a wall, but it needs to secure our borders.”

Cocchia and his wife, Christina, said President Trump’s doing the right thing and putting Americans first, not just tonight, but since the beginning of his campaign.

“I believe charity starts at home. Take care of our own first, and then more people would be willing to help immigrants,” Christina said.

Several of our members of Congress sent statements about the president’s speech, many of them saying a border wall is not going to solve our immigration problem and that the government shutdown needs to end.

So how do we fix the immigration issue?

Immigration attorney Roxie de Santiago believes that hiring more immigration court judges, addressing the economic conditions in the countries the migrants are fleeing and targeting our opioid crisis would help improve immigration.

“They’re still gonna head towards us, because we’ve always been the country of opportunity,” said de Santiago. “Make it a legitimate guest worker program. That’s an easy solution that can be address by Congress. Update and improve the asylum process.”

But Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin thinks building a wall to secure our border is the best method to solve the problem.

“If you’re dealing with people who have no regards for the law or the legal system, you have to have a physical structure in place to have something to monitor or maintain,” Griffin said.

Griffin believes having a secure barrier at the U.S.- Mexico border is the first step to addressing the country’s problem.

“Then we could pull our resources back that are all strung out, then focus more resources on our ports, and then we can button it down and prevent things from happening,” Griffin said.

Trump is expected to visit the southern border in Texas on Thursday.

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