Sunday, December 02, 2007

Weekly Iowa editor calls for thought on immigrants

As immigration became the leading issue in the Republican race for president, thanks in part to an undue emphasis by CNN in its recent YouTube debate, a weekly newspaper editor in Iowa asked his readers to step back and think about the issue and how it has affected their community and state for the better.

"Thousands of immigrants have worked in our town’s two meatpacking plants, working hard, hoping for a better life for their children, sending money home to Mexico and other nations to help their families left behind. They build businesses and churches, they add color and richness, they learn English as they can and they help an isolated rural community grow and prosper," wrote Art Cullen of the Storm Lake Times.

"Yes, we need secure borders. We need to know just who is living and working in Storm Lake. We also need workers in our meatpacking plants as the first generation moves up the economic ladder. If we don’t cut the meat here, be assured that the meat will get cut somewhere else and those jobs are lost to us. What we really need is to open up the immigration quotas to fill our low-skilled, medium-skilled and high-skilled job shortages." (Read more)

Most of the Times' Web site is only for subscribers, but access to the editorial comes to us by way of, which adds a brief biography of Cullen, right, and his paper: "
Art Cullen, 50, is editor of the Storm Lake Times, a twice-a-week newspaper serving the diverse and growing community of Storm Lake, which in the 2000 Census topped 10,000 for the first time in the town’s history – while all other county seat towns around it continued to decline in population. Cullen grew up in the community when it was nearly all-white. He went on to St. Thomas College in St. Paul, Minn. In his journalism career of nearly 30 years in Iowa, he first served as editor at the Algona Upper Des Moines and Kossuth County Advance, then managing editor at The Daily Tribune in Ames, and news editor/editorial page editor at the [Mason City] Globe-Gazette, before returning home in 1990 to help his brother John Cullen launch the Storm Lake Times. John Cullen is the paper’s publisher."

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