I would like to address the problem with the border of Mexico and immigration with a radical solution: Rather then strengthening the border and demonizing those who have already come to the U.S. illegally, we should pursue moving the border and bringing the prosperity and constitutional protections of the U.S. to them, and any other country where people want a better life than what exists for them now.

It is time to consider expansion of the United States.

We can do little to protect any investment made into another country, but we can to our own. The border currently is porous in one direction only. Moving it and adding constitutional protections within allows diversity and prosperity to flow in both directions. Infrastructure would be required to bring a new area to U.S. standards, and that means jobs, literally millions of them.

How do we achieve expansion? Negotiation. A polling of the people. Cutting ties of our businesses with them unless they want to be part of us.

As United States, each state has its own Constitution, and Mexico or any other country would be no different, as long as their Constitutions were in line with the U.S. Constitution. People native to countries adopted by the U.S. would instantly become U.S. citizens, ending the issue of immigration for millions. Current U.S. citizens would be free to move south with constitutional protections, to improve and expand our new states' economies. Federal agencies would be free to enforce law and quash corruption and the cartels. If Mexico joins, that may entice other countries to fall under our constitutional umbrella. We could rival China in area and number of citizens. I think we should also offer statehood to Puerto Rico. Resources of the U.S. would increase with territorial expansion. Let's go all the way to Venezuela and beyond! We cannot really help while these countries are independent, but we could if they were part of the United States.

It is only an idea, but I think it is so outside the box that it has not even been considered. Maybe it is time. Maybe it is past time.

David Lee Feiker, Richfield
• • •

For many months, ever since the Trump administration has made southern border security a priority, Democrats have sung from the same song sheet that the president has created a "manufactured crisis" to justify his actions.

Homeland Security informs us that 144,000 people were detained at our border with Mexico in May. On an annual basis, the agency is tasked with the job of preventing half a million people from crossing our border. Bringing the numbers closer to home, this means every day our border patrol agents must prevent 4,800 individuals from entering our country illegally. Those numbers do not account for the unknown numbers of border crossers who manage to escape detention.

By any metric, this is not sustainable given the limited resources assigned to the critical task of border security. Frustrated repeatedly by the courts and Congress, President Donald Trump chose to impose tariffs on Mexican goods entering the country. There was the usual hue and cry from both left and right. Yet his decision to hurt Mexico economically succeeded for the first time ever in gaining Mexico's commitment to meaningful border control measures. Should the agreement hold, we will see a drastic decline in the numbers of Latin Americans, often with children in tow, challenging our border security. This is a huge win for our country.

The Trump administration is committed to helping improve the economies of the countries of Central America as the most humane, effective means of bringing an end to the tragedies at our southern border. One recent letter advanced the idea that Trump's border policies are one more reason to have him removed from office ("We can solve our border problems," June 9). No. His policies are helping to contain and control a humanitarian disaster, unlike any of our previous presidents, whether Republican or Democrat.

Mark H. Reed, Plymouth

Homeless need more than roofs

The Minneapolis Navigation Center — the city's answer to previously existing homeless encampments — just closed ("As center closes, many still without housing," front page, June 4). The center was felt to be unique as it aimed at meeting people experiencing homelessness where they were and providing them health and social services and resources. Over the less than six months it was open, reportedly more than half its residents were placed in stable housing or programs for chemical dependency treatment. Given how recent these placements were, it is difficult to say how long-term they may be. Over that same short time, the remaining residents ended up arrested, still unhoused but living outside of shelters, or lost to follow-up. And two people died of drug overdoses.

Local government officials feel the center was, overall, successful, but there is no plan for establishing a similar center. At the same time, these officials acknowledge the danger of encampments, which surely will become more dangerous from a health standpoint as outdoor temperature extremes widen.

Outside of this short-lived center, much of the work around homelessness has focused on increasing affordable housing. Simply providing people experiencing homelessness with a physical place to stay, however, does not do anything to address the multitude of potential root problems that perpetuate homelessness. Domestic violence, past trauma, substance abuse, mental health issues, chronic medical conditions, criminal history, financial debt and limited education are just a few of the factors that can obstruct the path to housing stability. Individuals and families need to be empowered with resources to remedy the myriad contributors to this problem.

The Navigation Center did attempt to work on some of this, but an even broader dedication to holistic betterment is important, and the relatively sudden opening and closing of the center do not help circumstances. Stability and consistent compassion and care are necessary components of a successful strategy.

We need to provide focus and funds to programs that understand how to address each person experiencing homelessness or in transition as whole, multifaceted humans with needs beyond walls and a roof.

Erin Stevens, Minneapolis

The writer is on the board of directors for Haven Housing, an organization for women in housing crises.


The hypocrites smear Ilhan Omar

Why is Michelle Malkin, a conservative commentator, questioning Ilhan Omar's tax returns ("State finds irregularities in Omar's tax returns," front page, June 8), while ignoring the fact that Trump refuses to even let us see his taxes, as he promised to do once nominated? Omar was first accused of hate speech last February by the same myopic critics who pretended not to notice their leader's many tweets degrading women, Muslims, African people and other minorities. When that blew over, the Republicans — led by state Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa — tried to find something criminal in her campaign spending. And now this.

The IRS probably has more important work to do, but the probing may find out that she made a mistake in filing her taxes, as with her choice of words about Israel and campaign finances. But the intended smear will be there.

The real purpose for the attack is that she is a strong, intelligent woman who speaks out. Oh, and she's Muslim.

We're not fooled. We're proud to have Ilhan Omar representing Minnesota in Congress.

Kathleen Ziegler, Lino Lakes

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