My Letter to the Editor – Rebuttal to a Hateful Screed on Immigration

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Letters To The Editor

Our local Prince William County, Virginia, newspaper “The Potomac News” ran a letter to the editor today that ranks as one of the most hateful screeds against immigration that I have ever read, anywhere. Even though I have already pegged this particular newspaper as a hard-core conservative newspaper, I was still shocked they would print such a letter. I had to respond.

Here are excerpts of the letter I specifically responded to. If you have a strong stomach, you can read the letter in it’s entirely at the website “illegal is illegal” I’ve included excerpts of the letter containing the points I specifically rebutted.
[…snip…]

From taxes to medical care to education, they are a drain on the entire country. They drive illegally without licenses or insurance and run after they cause an accident, leaving the innocent citizen to pick up the pieces. They live like cockroaches, a dozen or more in a single-family home, driving down real estate prices and ruining once-beautiful, friendly neighborhoods.
[…snip…]

They had several options before they crossed illegally. They could have applied for a visa and waited their turn to come here legally. That, unfortunately, they and you both seem to feel is not an option. They could have stayed where they were and begun a revolution to overthrow their government to make their lives better. This, of course, is what they decide to do once they cross the border illegally.

Problem is, it’s my government they’re trying to overthrow along with the help of the ACLU (American Criminal Liberties Union) and blind bleeding hearts like you that feel because this is the greatest country in the world we have an obligation to run it into the dirt by allowing every single person that wants to be here to come here.

Street crime is so high in Woodbridge that I don’t go for a walk around the block without packing iron. Have you driven U.S. 1 and seen the day labor camps at the 7-Eleven across from Marumsco Plaza? I wonder what a visitor to our little town feels when they see the mob of men hanging out at the 7-Elevens at both ends of the plaza and now migrating to the Five Guys and the Citgo station. If I hadn’t already lived here for 29 years I certainly wouldn’t choose to live here now.

You can’t tell me all the day laborers are legal; some may be, but even then you can bet there is not one penny paid in taxes on the money they make, yet they get free medical at the emergency room and free education for their kids.

[…snip…]

If you stop coddling the illegal population and granting them the rights of citizenship, maybe they won’t feel quite so welcome. The only right the illegal should have is to get out, no matter how long they’ve been here.

My letter as follows:

***

I feel the need to respond to key points of Mr. Bradish’s letter “One more time, illegal is illegal” of April 11, 2007.
Mr. Bradish wrote:

 “They could have applied for a visa and waited their turn to come here legally.”

The USCIS has no category of visa for general unskilled labor immigration. This leaves family visas requiring an American resident or citizen for sponsorship as the only immigration option for many people. As for waiting their turn; Current family visa waiting times can be as long as 20 years, depending on the country of origin and family relationship.

“I wonder what a visitor to our little town feels when they see the mob of men hanging out at the 7-Elevens at both ends of the plaza and now migrating to the Five Guys and the Citgo station.”

I make the observation that these mobs of men hang out at the 7-Elevens because so many of our fellow – legal – Woodbridge residents hire them there for day labor work.

 “You can’t tell me all the day laborers are legal; some may be, but even then you can bet there is not one penny paid in taxes on the money they make”

Whose fault is it that people not legally allowed to work in the U.S. are being hired by American citizens? Whose fault is it that employers do not pay the withholdings on legally mandated payroll and social security taxes?

“yet they get free medical at the emergency room and free education for their kids.”

In my opinion free medical care and education should be available to any person living in what Mr. Bradish describes as “the greatest country in the world.”

 If people employing illegal immigrants paid the payroll taxes that pays for these services, use of publicly funded services would not be an issue.

 “They drive illegally without licenses or insurance”

A person cannot gain a driver’s license or auto insurance in this state without proof of legal residence. If you make it impossible for people to drive legally in a place where they must drive in order to survive, they have no choice but to drive illegally.

 “They live like cockroaches, a dozen or more in a single-family home, driving down real estate prices and ruining once-beautiful, friendly neighborhoods.”

Whose fault is it when homeowners in beautiful, friendly neighborhoods choose to illegally convert their expensive homes into tenement buildings fit only for cockroaches? In this state a person cannot legally rent an apartment or house without proof of legal residence. When you prevent people from legally renting they have no choice but to live where ever they can.

“Street crime is so high in Woodbridge that I don’t go for a walk around the block without packing iron.”

As a native of New York City, and having lived most of my adult life in big cities around the world, I feel sorry for Mr. Bradish. It must be terrible to live life so frightened of strangers he feels a need to pack iron while taking a walk here in Woodbridge.

“If you stop coddling the illegal population and granting them the rights of citizenship, maybe they won’t feel quite so welcome. The only right the illegal should have is to get out, no matter how long they’ve been here.”

Out of my four immigrant grandparents, three would be considered illegal immigrants by present-day standards. They were among tens of thousands of other immigrants back at the turn of the 20th century who would also be classified as illegal immigrants by today’s standards. Those people worked hard all their lives, raised families, and many ultimately became U.S. citizens. They collectively helped build our country into what Mr. Bradish now describes as “the greatest country in the world.”

 “blind bleeding hearts like you that feel because this is the greatest country in the world we have an obligation to run it into the dirt by allowing every single person that wants to be here to come here.”

Out in the harbor of my native city, we host a statue given to America back in 1886 by the people of France named “Statue of Liberty.” On it’s base is a sonnet written by the native-born American poet Emma Lazarus, which in part reads:

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Maybe, as present-day American citizens, we should remember our collective roots as descendents of immigrants?

 

***

As always, I’ll update if my letter sees the light of day. I’m not holding my breath. 

Update 1:  April 11, 2:14 PM  – I received a response from the Potomac News Editor, stating he would print my response!   I am very pleased, and anxious to see what type of response my letter generates.

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Trump’s Shithole Country : My commentary on Impeached President Trump’s “Shit Hole Countries” comment.
Eighty Percent OK With Discrimination : Another Letter to the Editor on immigration issues in Prince William County, Virginia.
An Unpleasant Sunday Morning : An up-close and personal experience with racism here in Prince William County, Virginia.

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