“It’s a dumb solution and proposition,” the Mexican native, 50, tells PEOPLE. “Whether it gets built, whether it doesn’t get built, nobody has given you a real budget on it — we do know it’s billions and billions of dollars. We’re talking about who’s going to pay for it and the wall is not the solution. How is this wall that is immense going to go through the many rivers? Are you going to build dams? Are you going to go up and down the mountains?”
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The How to Be a Latin Lover actress, who moved to the U.S. from Mexico in 1991, feels that all the talk of the wall distracts from the real issue: immigration reform.
“Sometimes we talk about the wrong part of the issues,” she says. “And that can be a trick, talking about the wrong part of the issue and not dealing with it, or talking about the wrong issues, which distract from other issues — we have to be careful not to fall in that trap.”
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Hayek hopes that discussion turns toward creating smarter immigration laws that benefit everyone.
“We have to talk about smart reforms because it’s very necessary,” she says. “There are smarter ways we can come up with to control immigration, and do immigration reform that is much more beneficial for America. For example, there’s a lot of work for farmers in this country and there are not enough farmers for all the work there is. A lot of the people that do not want to be involved in the drug industry of Mexico are very skilled farmers; they do not want to participate in that so some of them are here.“
“The people that come, they don’t necessarily want to stay — they would be happy to come and work at the time of the harvest and go back to their country,” she adds. “America can benefit from these expert workers and they can pay taxes that can benefit America.”