By John Peters
September 10, 2013
To the Editor,
I agree with Mr. Joyce (The Mount Airy News, Aug. 31, 2013) that illegal immigration should not be linked to the civil rights struggle. However, the plight of illegal immigrants is definitely not a blight on America unless we fail to come up with a humane solution. And that solution is not sending 8 million people back or building walls to keep them out. (Actually, the number of illegal immigrants entering the country is almost zero when you factor in the number that have left the country in the past two years).
Yes, there is a difference between legal and illegal immigration. The reason millions of immigrants passed through Ellis Island legally is they arrived by boat. Don’t you think that if we had a border with Ireland or Italy many would have arrived illegally on foot, horseback, etc.? Why do you think we have more Mexicans than Cubans?
The Congressional Budget Office reports that immigration reform would improve the economy if millions of illegal workers were granted legal status and joined the workforce and paid taxes. And studies show that immigrants pay more in taxes than they use in benefits.
George Bush tried to pass comprehensive immigration reform and was defeated by his own party. And the reason many Republicans continue to oppose reform is because they see millions of new voters for the Democrats. And can you blame these potential voters?
The Republican Party is anti-worker, education, health care, environment, woman, gays and so on. It is a party mostly of white men who support only the military, guns and God. The military is too large, the country is awash in guns and God is on neither side politically – I spoke to her and she just wishes we could show compassion and get our act together. I forgot – the Republicans do love corporate welfare—tax breaks for corporations so they can create part-time jobs without benefits while recording record profits and granting CEOs larger bonuses.
Immigrants come to this country for the same reasons they always have: for a better life and future for their families. Are there problems with illegal immigration? Of course. Does America provide too many benefits? Yes.
The answer is not more right-wing rhetoric. Mr. Joyce needs to put down the tea cup and have a Dos Equis. It may not solve the problem but he will feel better.
Jerry D. Reid