Letter: Illegal immigration
I am an opponent of illegal immigration. The front-page article in the Monday paper called “The jobs immigrants do” was written in support of illegal immigration — while never mentioning the word “illegal” they justify illegal immigration as being economically beneficial. Nothing more edifying than a lecture on economic benefits on Labor Day.
It is fascinating that the authors interview only individuals who support and or benefit economically from illegal immigration: The Mexican cleaning lady, the local Anglo hotel manager, the Mexican carpenter. I have no issue with legal immigration and foreigners who go through the legal process to become U.S. citizens. I think all foreigners who sneak into the U.S. illegally — or overstay visas — are lawbreakers and, as such, are unwelcome and invite deportation.
I have a big problem with Anglo business owners and the crony Chamber of Commerce hacks who employ these people at reduced wage rates — slave wages if you will. Then these same crony hacks want the U.S. taxpayer to financially backstop their cheap labor by paying for the health and welfare that benefits their illegal labor force.
I have no doubt that there are many skilled Latino workers. As human beings they are at least the equal of and perhaps morally superior to many U.S.-born Anglos who go to liberal arts colleges only to accrue massive debt and then join the ranks of the unemployed. But the foreign worker must understand that they are here at our pleasure — not just because they want to immigrate here and benefit from an irresponsible U.S. system. As non-citizens, illegal entrants possess no constitutional protections — rights afforded to the most virtuous and most contemptible of U.S. citizens.
In closing, my ancestors immigrated to the Roaring Fork Valley in the 1890s. They came from Austria and Northern Italy through Ellis Island. They came here legally —they didn’t sneak into the country. They learned English in order to survive in the U.S. They never took a dime in welfare. They paid for their ranches during the Great Depression when many Americans stood in soup lines. Subsequent generations of my ancestors have served in the U.S. military and paid all forms of taxes.
Unfortunately, the legions of people here illegally cost the U.S. taxpayer a quarter of a trillion dollars per year. And finally, my ancestors assimilated, adopting the United States as their home country. My ancestors had to assimilate — because returning to Europe was not an option. Today’s immigrants have the luxury of going back to their home countries — let us afford them that luxury.