If someone tells you there is an easy solution to undocumented immigrants in this country, be suspicious. Everyone has a right to their opinion, but no matter what reform, if any, that comes down the pike from Washington, people will be upset. This issue has all the ingredients for a good fight, and not just in the U.S. capital.
I say this because for the past three days I have been talking to people along the border of Texas and Mexico in preparation for Lester Holt's piece tonight on immigration. This is our first story in this week's series we're calling "Whose America?" We came down here with lots of questions and got a slew of different opinions. Not answers, opinions. Everyone here has first hand knowledge of the problem of porous borders and undocumented workers. Everyone here also knows there is no easy answer because it's so much more than just a statistic of nearly 12 million people. It's about human beings, livelihood and, for some, no less than the ideals this country was founded on.
While we were down by the river last night with U.S. Border Patrol agents, it didn't take long before we saw a man get caught crossing the Rio Grande. It happens all the time. With spring approaching, agents say the numbers are up again. Although attention is peaking this week with what is happening in Washington, being down here and watching people get caught and handcuffed while countless others get in unnoticed, is a stark reminder that whatever happens on the Senate floor will do little in the next year to stop the efforts of people in inner tubes trying to float across the river. The money is too good, and whether they acknowledge it or not, there are lots of willing employers in the U.S. who need the help. As I said, if someone tells you there is an easy answer to this issue, have them walk the 2,000-mile border in Texas, and ask them what they think then.