Letters to the Editor 4/6/17
WORKING WITH DEMS
Trump says he wants to work with the Democrats now. Good. Please start by apologizing to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, then, as a show of sincerity, withdraw Neil Gorsuch from consideration as our next Supreme Court judge and endorse and begin vesting of Merrick Garland. Merrick Garland is the initially nominated candidate, rightfully and constitutionally. He is the correct jurist to fill the vacancy. Vest and seat Merrick Garland, as undemocratic partisan politics were implemented to deny the powers of the executive branch to overextend, with malice, the powers of the legislative branch. This is a good place to start if Mr. Trump really now wishes to work with Democrats.
IMMIGRANTS ARE PEOPLE
There is nothing in my realm of experience that gives me the insight or knowledge to write about immigration. Many others have studied it, have analyzed the effects of it, have examined the statistics. Not I. But I feel compelled to write about it because on the news, in the print media, on the street, I hear the word “immigrants” as if they were a giant, homogenous blob of humanity with the intent of destroying, or at least disrupting, life as we know it. I feel we must be reminded of one thing: These are people.
What would it take for you to leave your family, your country, your friends, your language, your customs ... basically everything you know, to go to a land where you know nothing ... not how to communicate or find a home or get a job? A place where you are probably not welcomed or accepted? How bad would your life have to have been to make you do that? These are people.
Have you watched the streams of humanity walking through rain and snow, mud and heat, across entire countries, carrying babies, holding on to children and the elderly, clutching a few small possessions? Have you watched them floating across the Mediterranean Sea in leaky boats, having given all of their earthly possessions to some criminal who promised them a safe voyage? Have you seen pictures of dead children lying on the beaches? Can you watch them dry-eyed? These are people.
If you think these are “immigrants” coming here to take your jobs, try working in a meat packing plant, or harvesting vegetables while crawling on your hands and knees, getting paid by how much you pick. No benefits. No vacation days. When you sit down to a meal today, try to think of them. These are people.
I belong to the Academy of Lifelong Learning, a group of seniors who want to stay active. We recently presented some programs on immigration. We learned about the vetting process, which takes about two years. Shortly thereafter, this process was reinforced by CBS “60 Minutes,” which aired a program on immigration. They even told of new methods of identification such as eye “mapping.” Illegals are hardly streaming in through our borders. (Yes, I know there are illegals, but they are desperate, too.)
A businessman from Beardstown spoke at our meeting. He told of some things the residents did for their Hispanic and now African immigrants who work in the local meat packing plant. They show the newcomers how to handle such things as money matters, shopping, housing, etc. They have an ethnic festival so the immigrants can show their new American neighbors samples of their life back home. They put together a cookbook with the foods from Africa.
They admit there are problems at times. There are things like schools and health care to consider. There are vast differences. But the fact remains: These are people.
Sarah H. Thomas