When President Trump embraced a proposal this month that would cut legal immigration by 50 percent, I spoke out against it, thinking of the immigrant workers I grew up with. When re-evaluating immigration policy, it is right to give priority, through a point system or otherwise, to those who have skills and abilities unique to the new economy. We did this in 2013, in the bipartisan immigration bill that passed the Senate. But there must always be a place in America for those whose only initial credentials are a strong back and an eagerness to use it.
A few weeks ago, as I stood with my mother and 10 siblings at my father’s funeral to say our final goodbyes, there stood Manuel, cowboy hat in hand. “Mi hijo,” he said as he approached me — “my son.”
America would be a lesser country without Manuel Chaidez, and so many like him.