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Project to Assist Return to Mexico

September 11, 1997

You observe that "migration is essentially a labor issue" (editorial, Aug. 27). You make thoughtful observations, concluding, "New ideas, and old ones, should get a hearing."

For many years I have worked with undocumented immigrants from Mexico. Working with them person-to-person rather than at a policymaking level has forced me to look for long-lasting solutions. For 2 1/2 years I have worked in Mexico, preparing a program of job and personal development training for returning immigrants. We will open our first residential training center in the state of Puebla this fall, reaching out to serve young immigrants here in L.A. who volunteer to return to Mexico, those returned to Mexico at the Otay Mesa (Tijuana) crossing and others who have returned voluntarily or who are at risk of emigrating to the U.S. Our goal is to make it economically viable for young people to become self-supporting in Mexico.

You observe that "migration is likely to persist as long as foreigners need jobs." President Clinton noted, on his Mexican visit earlier this year, that illegal immigration will continue to be a problem as long as opportunity exists on one side of the border and poverty marks the other side. We are proposing a "new idea" to begin to change that.

CLIF CARTLAND, Exec. Dir.

Proyecto Esperanza, Pacoima

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