I recently returned from a trip to Mexico where I spent several days visiting some former neighbors of ours. The Otoya family (I am not using their real names) self-deported a few years ago, returning to Mexico after many years here.

     The overall immigration crackdown under successive administrations had made their lives as undocumented immigrants untenable. Their three sons were born here and wanted to stay, but that was not an option. (There is no such thing as an “anchor baby.” Children cannot petition for visas for parents until they are adults —at which point the wait, about 15 years for Mexicans, starts.)

     I had a great time with the Otoyas, and came to appreciate even more what lovely people they are. The kids are impressive — one is planning on studying computer science at college next year, and one came in third in a national math competition (!) and hopes to become an engineer. They are bright, hard working, ambitious, and bilingual. They have made the best of a wrenching transition.

     And my lingering thought is this: what a loss to Ripon, and what a loss to our country! ...

     What did we gain with this self-inflicted wound we call our immigration policy?

— Kat Griffith
955 Ransom St.

     To read the entire letter, see the Nov. 28, 2019 edition of The Ripon Commonwealth Press.