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Immigrants come here to contribute

Date published: 8/17/2014

My name is Tony, and I'm from El Salvador, and I came to the U.S. 30 years ago. My family moved because of the civil war in my country, and today it is much worse because gangs control the whole country, even the law.

That's why I don't blame the kids who have crossed the border by themselves because they want to come here to see their parents.

In many cases, parents have come without their children because there are no jobs over there, and if they are lucky enough to have their own business, they must pay gang members whatever they demand, or they will kill you or a member of your family.

I know of a woman who owed a gang $70, and when she couldn't pay it, they killed her 7-year-old daughter.

I suggest to President Obama that the only solution is to take executive action to grant work permits at the very least, but ideally a pathway to citizenship, to all immigrants living here.

It's important to understand that undocumented people don't come here to take advantage of this country.

I miss my country; my country is paradise. We work hard and contribute to this country. But many of us have had to come here to protect ourselves and our families. If you don't believe me, go online and search "gangs from El Salvador," and you will see that what I am saying is 100 percent true.

Granting legal status to undocumented immigrants would also help slow the flow of immigrant children to the United States.

Parents with legal documentation would be able to go back and forth to their countries to visit their kids, which would make it more likely that their kids could stay and would have someone looking out for them so they would be protected from gang recruitment.

Tony Guevara