Letters | Response to Immigration Debate

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Fix Immigration Instead of Spreading Disinformation

In regards to “Immigration: Progressive Dogma Not Welcome on Pulpit,” (Feb. 13), there are indeed some 7 billion people in the world, about 327 million of whom live in the United States. So, let’s talk about “massive absorption” of “new populations” or “welcoming massive foreign populations.”

There were 48 million immigrants (17 percent) of all shapes and sizes living in the U.S. in 2017 (Pew Research Center). About one-fourth of those (under 3.5%) are illegal. (Some of them actually worked for President Trump, until he had to fire them.) About a third of the immigrants are Latinos (Pew), or a bit under 5%. I would hardly call any of this “massive,” although compared to other counties it is much larger.

Nonetheless, it is useful, especially in the case of Central American immigrants, to understand why they come to the U.S. In particular, what role have U.S. administrations since (and including) President Reagan played in the disintegration of the social fabric of these countries, and how little have we done to fix this damage? As Colin Powell once told George W. Bush in reference to Iraq, if you break it, you own it. Well, to some extent, we broke it.

So maybe we should be fixing it, rather than spreading adjectival disinformation or wasting money building walls. These are all God’s people and they deserve better. The U.S. can afford to treat them better. So perhaps we should think about how to do this. Maybe let’s try to solve the problem rather than make it worse.

If our forefathers were still alive, they might tell us how unwelcome and unwanted Jews and other “dirt of the earth” folks were when they came to the United States. Perhaps it is time to never forget.

Frank L. Friedman | Philadelphia

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