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Conversation With a Six-Year-Old About Immigration Reform

06/15/2011 03:40 pm ET | Updated Aug 15, 2011

I'm on the way to Arizona for a few days of learning about the challenges of immigration reform, and the harsh reality of the Mexican/US border.

Before I leave on any trip, I try to tell my kids where I am going, and what I am trying to do.

Today, that conversation left me wondering whether the wisdom of a six-year-old might help our policy makers reset the polemic and extreme rhetoric around immigration.

Me: Sweetie, just wanted to let you know that I am going to be gone for a few days.

Daughter: Where are you going daddy?

Me: I'm going to Arizona, and am going to be in the place where people walk to our country from Mexico.

Daughter: Why are you going there?

Me: To try to find ways to help the people who live there, and the people who walk through the desert to get to our country.

Daughter: Why do they walk through the desert?

Me: There aren't many jobs in Mexico, and a lot of people are really poor. They don't have houses like us, or good schools, or good food to eat. It's also not safe.

Daughter: Do their whole families come?

Me: Sometimes, but usually just the mommies or daddies.

Daughter: So that's a good thing right?

Me: Well, some people think it's good, but other people think its bad because they don't have passports so it is against the law.

Daughter: Passports like papers?

Me: Yes

Daughter: But they are trying to help their families?

Me: Yes, most of them

Daughter: I don't understand why anyone would think that wasn't a good thing.