Joe Straka’s Jan 10 reply (See “Control the border and build the wall”) to Jim Griesemer’s very modest and reasonable argument in his Dec. 28 guest column Punishing a Public a New Immigration Strategy?” was unfortunately naive and misinformed.

I lived in Mexico in the 1970s. Every able young man in the village had spent a season or more “al otro lado,” on the “other side.” They went for adventure and money, doing mostly field work or construction, almost as a rite of passage. They did not come to stay. When the border tightened up 20-some years later and with the depredations of NAFTA, the young men ceased going for a lark to ‘the other side,” but brought their families because once crossed, there was no going back. And because of NAFTA, most did not have anything to go back to.

In Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, wars, gangs, and drugs forced thousands to flee. They came north to seek asylum.

We in America do not really have an immigration problem, unless you consider that we are punishing refugees and asylum seekers from Central America, which is a big problem.

I suggest that the “problem” or “crisis” that makes all the noise is due to the fact that the immigrants we want to discourage are mostly brown people, essentially Indians or part Indians (mestizo). Apparently, we Americans just don’t like them.

Essentially, Trump’s wall wants to keep this element out. However, as Mr. Griesemer points out, the wall will not achieve that goal.

Ted Tripp

Apalachicola