Letters to the Editor

From the week of March 17, 2005

Graham and Tancredo are right: We are losing this country to people who are not citizens or legal residents. I am still in shock over being told that we do not belong here.

If the U.S. was really serious about border control, we could do it very easily. Ted Rall, a columnist and political cartoonist, tells of crossing the border from China to one of the former Soviet republics and describes not only how difficult it was to cross legally, but also how well guarded the border was on both sides (fences, the works). These two countries have fewer resources to do it over a much longer and wilder terrain, but they also have the will to do it. First Data and the U.S. do not do this, and it's because of money and a cheap labor source, nothing more. It is exploitation of people, and what is even sadder is that the Spanish-speaking community lets it happen.

I looked at www.vdare.com and saw the comic-style book available to people trying to cross the border. In any other country, such an act would be tantamount to war. But in the U.S., everyone has their hands in each other's pockets.

Yakov Azriel Ben Avraham
via the Internet

Foreign affairs: I have heard Terry Graham on the radio. She is intelligent, levelheaded and well-spoken. It is an outrage that she was beaten up on U.S. soil by a foreign national in view of the police! I think it may demonstrate how foreign nationals view our laws; they feel when they wish to break a law, it is their right to do as they please. I hope Graham is vindicated in her lawsuit.

Robin Hvidston
Upland, California

Working the System

Earn and learn: Regarding Luke Turf's "Payday," in the February 24 issue:

Thank goodness we have organizations like El Centro Humanitario, which provide a much-needed service for our community. They help people who want to work find work, so that they and their families are fed. It saddens me to read letters like the one published in the March 3 issue, evidently from someone in a cave somewhere who favors people working without payment, while their children go uneducated.

We used to have that system in the U.S.: It's called slavery.

Michael Worrall

Waging war: Interesting that law student Coleen Breslin champions, advocates for and teaches illegals -- who are law-breakers by virtue of being undocumented -- how to rip off the very system that they claim is ripping them off! How can El Centro Humanitario, in good conscience, promote an employment system that cheats the federal and state governments out of tax dollars due them? These workers have no Social Security numbers and are stealing dollars out of the Social Security system by being paid under the table. Centro is encouraging undocumented workers to access Colorado Department of Labor and Employment services when they have not paid their dues to receive any services.

Essentially, Centro is promoting criminal activity and is an accessory to crime. While Breslin bangs her fist on the table in response to alleged injustices against the undocumented workers, is she equally outraged and willing to help U.S. citizens with unemployment, affordable health care for the elderly, education, the environment and the state of the economy? Apparently not. Never mind immigration quotas, visas and international law.

The article says that Breslin doesn't think the labor department is doing enough to aid these workers, and what the department is doing is a "waste of state money." Since when is the state required or obligated to provide interpreters and translations in Spanish for undocumented people? Also, it is interesting that these workers demand $8 per hour. Perhaps part of that $8 needs to go for federal and state taxes and FICA. Centro knows that promoting and enlisting prospective employers who pay under the table and cheat the government is illegal. By doing so, they are eroding, undermining and hurting the stability and very fabric of our society. This is unconscionable, unethical and immoral. Why haven't they been shut down?

Shame on Breslin. Which side of the law is she on? Is it any wonder there are so many lawyer jokes?

Artha Ortiz
via the Internet

Right and day: Views against day laborers are mostly driven by ignorance or by the distorted "knowledge" that is attained through sensationalist media and fraudulent statistics. Day laborers are not robbing and stealing from our system. The unpleasant truth about day labor is that big growers and many business lobbyists want the illegal workers here because they are easy to exploit. Otherwise, Congress would have passed a law addressing and penalizing the issue by now. The U.S. economic system needs migrant workers to do jobs that Americans are no longer willing to do. Despite arguments to the contrary, day labor is an essential component of the American economy.

Day laborers come to this country to lead an honest life, and what drives them to accept jobs that are dangerous, violate human-rights standards and are unfairly compensated (or not compensated at all, in many instances) is the need to provide for the families they left behind in their home countries.

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