Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has made comments insulting Mexicans. (Dominick Reuter/Reuters)

The circus surrounding Donald Trump and his presidential campaign paralyzes our country, preventing it from having a constructive debate about immigration [“Trump driving migrant debate,” front page, Aug. 18].

We can’t solve our country’s immigration crisis by focusing on the antics and destructive proposals of a political campaign based on eccentric, misguided and insular views. Hard-working people are exploited every day at the hands of our outdated immigration system. Instead of addressing the causes of a broken system, candidates such as Mr. Trump turn a blind eye to the abuse that workers and their families face.

Let’s have a serious debate, not one defined by sound bites and divisive rhetoric. Let’s begin by taking a comprehensive approach to immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Mr. Trump may not want this, but reasonable Americans understand that this is the path to a better and more united country.

Marc Perrone, Washington

The writer is president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.