The Free Press of Mankato, Nov. 5
Move forward on immigration reform
The chance of serious immigration reform passing in these closing weeks of Congress depends on how optimistic you are.
The gloomier prediction is that reform is impossible as many House Republicans are opposed to any bill that provides what they call "amnesty" for the 11 million undocumented immigrants already in the country. The president and Democrats are pushing bills that provide a legal path to citizenship, allowing for eventual legal citizenship for those who go through the steps and don't have serious criminal records.
The more optimistic view, growing in recent days, is that more House Republicans — still stung by the rejection of Hispanic voters in the last election — are signing onto the Democrats' bill.
Let us all be optimistic.
Major immigration reform is not a partisan issue for most Americans. Conservative activists — Evangelical leaders, business executives, law enforcement officials — recently lobbied Congress to pass a major reform bill and to reject the call from some GOP members who want to break apart immigration issues into separate bills.
The best immigration bill would allow law-abiding undocumented immigrants to pursue citizenship. It would continue to provide resources for border security. It would allow law abiding children of unauthorized immigrants to attend college and serve in the military. And it would create a robust temporary guest-worker program that would allow for enough foreign workers needed in many American industries.
Besides the path to citizenship, another major sticking point in negotiations has been over the level of resources aimed at border security, with many GOP members calling for heightened security. But that view collides with the facts.
According to the Migration Policy Institute, America already spends $18 billion a year on border enforcement, more than all other federal criminal-law-enforcement agencies combined.
And while border security is important, the fact is that half of unauthorized immigrants in the country did not sneak across the border, but overstayed their visas.
Major immigration reform is long overdue and necessary for the economic, social, moral and security benefits of the country.
St. Cloud Times, Nov. 4
Hunt safely in Minnesota with these simple tips
No hunter intends to cause an injury or plans to be injured while in a field, on a lake or in a deer stand; that's why when it happens, it's called an accident.
Yet, many hunting accidents can be prevented by taking more time, using common sense or more caution.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Division of Enforcement and Safety Training maintains records of reported hunting injuries and fatalities. Records show that in the past two years, there have been five fatalities and 38 incidents. Some incidents were self-inflicted, while others were caused by people hunting with the person who was wounded or killed.
According to national statistics, though, more hunters die every year from cold water shock, hypothermia and drowning than firearms mishaps. However, there have been no duck hunter drownings in Minnesota during the past two waterfowl seasons.
Because hunting involves firearms, knives, arrows and is often conducted in cold and wet weather in some of the state's wildest areas, the DNR reminds hunters to take particular time to prepare before heading out in the woods or wetlands.
The DNR offers tips for safe and responsible hunting, including:
. Follow the three basic rules of firearms handling — treat each firearms as if it is loaded; always control the muzzle of your firearm; be sure of your target and what is beyond.
. Get a detailed map of the area you are hunting, review it before you leave, and carry it with you in the field.
. Carry a compass and know how to use it.
. Carry a simple survival kit with rope, a knife, water, waterproof matches, an emergency shelter and first-aid supplies.
. If you are on the water, wear a life jacket.
. In case of capsizing or swamping when duck hunting, stay with the boat; even when filled with water, the boat will float and is more likely to be seen by potential rescuers.
. If hunting from an elevated stand, use a fall restraint device.
. Hunt with a companion or group, and always tell someone where you are hunting and when you plan to return.
New rules for the 2013 waterfowl season allow people to hunt on open water for migratory waterfowl on a few selected bodies of water. The DNR is concerned about the potential dangers of hunting in open water late in the season. Many open water hunters use layout boats, which should be accompanied by a person in a larger tender boat who can come to the rescue should something go wrong.
With Minnesota's small game, waterfowl, and archery deer seasons underway, and the firearm deer season set to begin Saturday, let's make this a safer hunting season by being prepared and responsible.
Albert Lea Tribune, Nov. 1
Governor's race needs candidates from Greater Minnesota
Where are the gubernatorial candidates from Greater Minnesota?
Let's review the people with candidacies for governor of Minnesota.
The Democrats are:
. Mark Dayton, incumbent from Minneapolis.
The Republicans are:
. Kurt Zellers, representative from Maple Grove and former House speaker.
. Rob Farnsworth, a teacher from Hibbing.
. Scott Honour, a businessman from Orono.
. Dave Thompson, a state senator from Lakeville.
. Jeff Johnson, a Hennepin County commissioner from Plymouth.
All but one are from the Twin Cities area.
Sure, Farnsworth is from Hibbing on the Iron Range, but he never has held elective office, not even school board or city council. He can't be considered viable.
Greater Minnesota needs and deserves a voice or two in the statewide race. History shows that often the best governors for finding compromise came from Greater Minnesota. They aren't as intransigent as the metro-based red and blue politicians, where divides can be sharp and grudges can last. Greater Minnesotans, in general, are accustomed to collaboration for the sake of community building. They find the middle ground. And they tend to think of the state as a whole, not merely the populous metropolitan areas.
Two Republican candidates we would like to see jump in the race are state Sen. Julie Rosen of Fairmont and former House Minority Leader Marty Seifert of Marshall.
Both have proven to be moderate Republicans capable of bipartisan leadership. Both have shown less of the divisiveness that metro politicians wear like a badge of honor.
We urge Rosen and Seifert to toss their hats in the ring for the sake of the entire state, for the metro area could use fair-minded, pragmatic, two-sided leadership just the same as the rest of Minnesota does.