Protesting students stood up for their beliefs |

Protesting students stood up for their beliefs

By protesting an immigration proposal that would have made illegal aliens felons, local high school students were standing up against something that would have had a direct and dramatic impact on many of their families.

By most accounts, the more than 200 students who walked out of Carson High School on Monday were orderly and well mannered. Their efforts and those of many thousands of other people around the country helped steer lawmakers away from legislation that would have punished illegal aliens.

Instead, compromise legislation is being considered that would allow them to become citizens after several years if they can prove they are contributing to society. The legislation fixes the most pressing problem – sealing the holes in the border with Mexico, while still showing compassion for those who are already here trying to better themselves and their families.

Many of us can look back in our own family histories and find that a similar motivation guided our ancestors to come here. That was a time when our doors were open much wider to immigration.

It is difficult to demonize those who are here because they chased a similar dream.

The unending flow of illegal aliens across the border must stop, but the president has it right in proposing that the reform show compassion for those who are here and can demonstrate they are contributing. That includes many people right here in Nevada.

It’s encouraging that our young people aren’t tuned out, and are taking part in the discussion of this important issue.

But we hope they went home Monday night and studied diligently for the tests they took the next day. While the privilege of living here grants us freedom to speak our minds, it also comes with the responsibility of giving something back, and that starts with an education.