To the Editor:

The immigration debate in our country has taken its toll. The issue has divided Americans, leaving us to wonder what exactly our nation’s identity is, and perhaps more importantly, how we move forward to protect it. Too often, our pundits and politicians rely on spreading fiery rhetoric instead of seeking solutions.

Yet in spite of those shortcomings, the House has the opportunity to pass meaningful reform that will have a positive impact on our communities and economy. The expansion of H-1B visas will provide our companies with the skilled workforce they need to grow and produce. A pathway to citizenship will serve as an avenue for the millions of hard working undocumented immigrants who desperately want to emerge from the shadows to better their lives and pursue the American Dream. Securing the border will help prevent illegal immigration and give those who have come here legally a chance to prosper and grow our economy. These are just a few prospective solutions.

I live in a small town, Perry, and we are well known for our diversity. I have lived there most of my life and have seen the community embrace the different cultures instead of shunning them. We even have a Cinco de Mayo celebration every May to help honor our Hispanic community members’ independence. Our town would not be what it is today if it were not for the beautiful blend of cultures that help enrich our community.

Without comprehensive immigration reform, communities like Perry and others will be robbed of the diverse cultural fabric that has come to define them.

That beautiful exchange of culture and ideas is something that should be preserved not jeopardized. Let’s keep our immigration policies focused on what matters most: the strength of our communities.

Selina Delpee