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Helen Krieble wants to end all the horsing around over illegal immigration.

Krieble knows that process isn't smooth and can take up to a decade. But she has a plan for this, too. Once she's finished cleaning up the illegal-immigration mess, she's going to tackle citizenship.


The bus that takes Antonio Hernandez Acave and his 26-year-old son back to Veracruz will go by the papaya and lemon groves where Hernandez used to work a whole day to make what he makes in two hours working for Helen Krieble. This past season, he took only one and a half days off; he wanted to earn as much money as he could at the Colorado Horse Park. Maybe he'll take a couple of days off before he starts working on his house, but he'll probably be so excited, he'll get right back to it.

When the bus arrives in town, he'll grab his little television and two backpacks, and then he and his son will walk home -- past the house of an old friend who froze to death crossing the border through the desert highlands. Hernandez never had the money to pay a smuggler. Instead, he found Krieble.

Without his job in Colorado, Hernandez could never have bought the land where he's building his house. He could never plan for a future in his homeland. "It's the best opportunity of my son's life and of mine," Hernandez says. "It's great to come to the United States legally. A lot come illegally and say it's great, too, but it's more difficult getting here and getting work without documents."

For Krieble, too, doing the job right -- doing it legally -- is worth the extra effort. "We're just trying to get our jobs filled so we can keep our doors open," she says. "So please, help people. Help workers and help employers who want to be legal. Please help them to become legal with a sensible program before you set out to punish them."

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