This is in response to the immigration issues raised in Mr. Bugg’s letter of Oct. 8; in particular, the premise that our country was built by immigrants who entered it legally.
I believe those who rely on that argument are glossing over some key facts in our history. Let’s go back to the beginning of the USA. Who actually erected our buildings, including The White House?
Who enabled our young country to develop a healthy economy by tending and reaping our main cash crops of cotton and tobacco? Immigrants from Africa and probably elsewhere, who did not come to our shores in what we would, today, think of as a legal manner. When my grandparents came here, there were practically no immigration barriers. Maybe disease. My grandparents made shoes, worked in the silk mills of Paterson and the steel mills of Pittsburgh. They went to West Point and spent their lives serving. They worked as maids and masseuses and accountants in Seattle and Cleveland. And that’s just my family history in the early 20th century.
These days, it seems like there are more refugees than citizens, all over the world. I don’t know the answer to this dilemma, but I’m guessing it’s not enforcing draconian regulations that end up separating families no matter what the age. I also can’t help but wonder what we’re afraid of in opening those southern borders a tad. Is it really so terrible to make it more lenient to enter our country and tend our crops and clean our houses and windows and clip our shrubs and mow our grass and paint our picket fences? It’s across the northern border that many drugs of abuse come from. And it’s disenfranchised white male Americans who go on shooting and killing rampages. So what exactly is the fear? MS-13? That’s valid.
Using up our taxes in the form of welfare? Not so valid. Most illegal immigrants actually pay into Social Security programs, but with fake SSNs, meaning they never will use benefits because they really don’t have valid numbers. Yes, some of these illegal immigrants are horrendous and shouldn’t be let into any country. But I know some citizens who are like that.
I don’t know the answers, but I sure know our country was built mainly by immigrants who were dragged here in chains, or whose countries had suffered famine or devastating poverty. The majority were treated like trash. But they kept at it, and here you and I are now.