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The Carletonian

New billboard in Faribault brings up both sides of the immigration debate

<nti-immigration billboard appeared just outside of Faribault two weeks ago, reflecting some of the communities sentiment towards the Mexican immigrant population in the community.

The billboard, which reads “They Cross Now, You Pay Later!,” is paid for by Minnesota Seeking Immigration Reform (MINN-SIR) and supported by Governor Pawlenty’s 2005 report. In his report he stated that illegal immigration costs Minnesotans $188 million each year.

Dialogue about immigration has been occurring in the United States for years and this billboard expresses the concerns some Northfielders feel when it comes to immigration issues. In a YouTube blog about this billboard bloggers state each side of the immigration issue.
On one side, a blogger distresses over statistics concerning illegal immigrants who murder Americans, kill Americans by drunk driving and sexually abuse Americans. As cited by the billboard’s patron, MINN-SIR, immigration issues in Minnesota range from illegal immigrants’ connection to gang graffiti to illegal immigrants receiving free health care.

On the other side of the issue, a blogger highlights the “energy and hard work” immigrants contribute to Northfield’s community. This blogger calls the billboard “ignorant and racist” saying that “statements like this only divide us.” Furthermore, in recent years, the Minnesota Congress, despite Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty, has shown support for immigrants who work and make their home in Minnesota. In 2006, for example, Congress passed the DREAM Act, allowing illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates.

MINN-SIR only bought the billboard space for one month. However, the immigration question is not-likely to go away with the billboard.

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