Not on his watch

I am compelled to offer my comments regarding the editorial by former ICT editor, Jose Barreiro, “Immigration issue sparks American racism.” [reprinted in Vol. 28, Iss. 11] Illegal immigration occurred once before when hordes of Europeans invaded this country.

Treaties of peace and forgiving attitudes failed to stop them. Native Americans fought and died to preserve their country, and they taught us how important it can be to stop any invaders. It is happening again. These invaders have no rights to the same services as citizens, yet they demand those rights in no uncertain manner.

Mr. Barreiro, like many supporters of illegal immigration, ignores the illegality of the border crossers’ actions. He [described] immigration as “the new magnet for American racism.” Immigration is not the issue. It is illegal immigration that is the problem, and racism has nothing to do with it. The issue is violation of our laws. American law is specific about the immigration process, and illegal aliens are violating that law. As an editor, he has to know the difference between “immigration,” which is legal, and “illegal aliens,” which describes anyone entering the country illegally. There is a world of difference between those two terms.

He insulted the Minutemen as being “oh-so-patriotic” and inferred that they practiced “vigilante violence.” That indirect accusation is far from being truth. I wonder if Barreiro would insult me for opposing illegal immigration whether committed in 1800, or today. The Minutemen took on the job of border-watching only because President Bush, who has close ties to the Mexican government, would not order it.

Many American cities and counties are now suffering financially from having to provide services for the millions of illegals now in this country. Americans are rightfully concerned about having to provide jobs and free services for them, then having to listen to their demands and complaints. I wonder how long it will be before the illegals discover ways to invade our reservations.

Elmer Savilla
Burke, Virginia

Jose Barreiro replies: A careful reading of the editorial will reveal my concern for the various issues of illegal immigration. The greater intent was to indicate that the discourse nationally is leading away from solution-oriented thinking to xenophobic and racist posturing. Consider these points from the editorial: “Certainly there are serious problems with waves of hundreds of thousands of people entering any country illegally.” And, “Legitimate debate points include the inherent right of countries to secure their borders; reading the actual impacts of a million new Latin American immigrants per year for the next 20 years on various job sectors, on costs of additional social services, on crime rates and criminal justice systems, very specifically on border communities.” The editorial urges more consideration of “what would constitute a humane, fair and sound long-term solution to the situation of the many undocumented migrants already in-country. When these types of questions are thought about rationally and fairly, progress can be made toward resolutions.” Of highest interest is the fact that many of the people coming north from Mexico and especially from Guatemala are indeed American Indigenous people.