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Immigration hot in the 2062 mailbag

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Updated: August 3, 2012 6:04AM



Our national motto seems to be “pull up the ladder now that I’m on board.” I wonder if 50 years from now the children of Mexican immigrants will be grousing about all the Nigerians we’re letting in.

Mark S. Anderson

Buenos Dias:

I scanned last minute’s NewSplat (“African shepherds to call Chicago home,” Sun-Times-Tribune, July 2, 2062) with alarm. While I have nothing but sympathy for victims of the latest Nigerian civil war, I can’t help but wonder what effect such an influx — your 4 p.m. infoburst said up to 900 refugees — will have on the quality of life in Chicago.

My parents came to this country as part of the Great Mexican Migration of the 1990s. Nobody chartered any air-conditioned sub-orbital jump jets for THEM. They had it tough. Crossing the desert to get here, working minimum wage jobs, always under the threat of deportation, decades had to pass before the laws were changed to allow them a path for citizenship. Their courage and determination helped make this country what it is, as anyone who absorbed the excellent and deservedly best-selling “Del Norte a la Libertad” series of vidvox knows.

Now the government says all the Nigerians need to do is pass a citizenship test, graduate high school, work for five years without committing any sort of crime and they’re automatic citizens? Where’s the fairness? Why are we giving them everything on a silver platter? How do you think the Chinese would treat them if they wanted to settle in Japan?

Besides, you have to wonder how comfortable goat herders will be in a nation that was founded on the ideals of justicia. I am all for offering these people refuge, but why can’t it be on a temporary basis? The same planes that brought them here can eventually take them home. One has to doubt if Africans, with their strong tribal loyalties, can ever really assimilate into the United States, with our colorful, hard-working energico culture. I somehow do not see these foreigners learning Spanish, or taking other steps to fit in.

Were Chicago the only city accepting the Nigerians, I would have concerns aplenty. But with Nuevo York, Los Angeles, San Juan and other American cities welcoming thousands of West Africans, with the threat of more to come, it’s clear that this influx will rend the fabric of our nation. When will it end? I appeal to President Garcia to reconsider this misguided policy, and I condemn the Sun-Times-Tribune for posting such an obvious piece of propaganda in support of it.

Yours in outrage,

John C. Martinez III

Satire’s always perilous in a newspaper — the joke can be lost on people. So I want to follow the previous fictional, made-up-by-me letter with a real one I received on this topic:

Thank you for your thoughtful responses to the “2nd generation” caller and his rant on immigrants. However, I have to disagree on one point you made: He said “These people came here, first of all, without being invited.”

Your response was: “Nobody gets invited.”

Simply not true: Every adult individual who came to this country other than by walking across the frozen Bering Sea or dragged over on slave ships, came here precisely because they were invited. Whether implicitly or explicitly, an invitation was extended. That invitation was this: “Come here for a better life.” That “better life” in earlier times was the lure of land and/or freedom from religious persecution. In more modern times, the lure was “JOBS.” We invited people here as cheap labor to clear our forests, do our laundry, build our railroads and cities.

We then extended that invitation to our neighbors to the south to plant and harvest our crops and take care of our children. And we still invite them; to take care of our lawns, of our elderly and wash our dishes. To do the jobs that we, proud, REAL Americans do not want to do.

Missing in most discussions on immigration is what I believe is the real truth of the matter: We, all of us -- Republicans, Democrats, liberals and conservatives, Occupiers and Tea Party-ers -- do not mind immigrants. In fact, we want, even demand our immigrants for all the above reasons and more. Even Arizonans.

What the anti-immigrant crowd really objects to is the children of immigrants. It’s those 2nd and 3rd generation “foreigners” who, for some reason, do not want to plant and harvest our crops, take care of our lawns, our children and our elderly. Washing dishes at Denny’s is good enough for their parents but is not good enough for them, the ingrates! They want to be doctors, lawyers, Sun-Times columnists, senators and mob bosses: You know, jobs that only REAL Americans should have. If their parents would just come here, do their jobs and then go home, we would not have an “immigrant” problem. We tell a joke in my family that says it all: “My family has had a problem with foreigners ever since we got to this country!”

Your Long Time Reader

Jef Block

, Libertyville



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