A email on Immigrants

Immigrants

From: "David LaBonte"

My wife Rosemary, wrote a wonderful letter to the editor of the OC Register which, of course, was not printed.  So, I decided to "print" it myself by sending it out on the Internet.  Pass it along if you feel so inclined.

Dave LaBonte (signed)

Written in response to a series of letters to the editor in the Orange County Register:

Dear Editor:

So many letter writers have based their arguments on how this land is made up of immigrants.  Ernie Lujan for one, suggests we should tear down the Statute of Liberty because the people now in question aren't being treated the same as those who passed through Ellis Island and other ports of entry.  Maybe we should turn to our history books and point out to people like Mr. Lujan why today's American is not willing to accept this new kind of immigrant any longer.

Back in 1900 when there was a rush from all areas of Europe to come to the United States, people had to get off a ship and stand in a long line in New York and be documented.  Some would even get down on their hands and knees and kiss the ground. They made a pledge to uphold the laws and support their new country in good and bad times.  They made learning English a primary rule in their new American households and some even changed their names to blend in with their new home.

They had waved good bye to their birth place to give their children a new life and did everything in their power to help their children assimilate into one culture.  Nothing was handed to them.  No free lunches, no welfare, no labor laws to protect them.

All they had were the skills and craftsmanship they had brought with them to trade for a future of prosperity.  Most of their children came of age when World War II broke out.  My father fought along side men whose parents had come straight over from Germany, Italy, France and Japan.  None of these 1st generation Americans ever gave any thought about what country their parents had come from.

They were Americans fighting Hilter, Mussolini and the Emperor of Japan.  They were defending the United States of America as one people.  When we liberated France, no one in those villages were looking for the French-American or the German American or the Irish American.  The people of France saw only Americans.

And we carried one flag that represented one country.  Not one of those immigrant sons would have thought about picking up another country's flag and waving it to represent who they were. It would have been a disgrace to their parents who had sacrificed so much to be here.  These immigrants truly knew what it meant to be an American.  They stirred the melting pot into one red, white and blue bowl.

And here we are in 2006 with a new kind of immigrant who wants the same rights and privileges.  Only they want to achieve it by playing with a different set of rules, one that includes the entitlement card and a guarantee of being faithful to their mother country.  I'm sorry, that's not what being an American is all about.  I believe that the immigrants who landed on Ellis Island in the early 1900s deserve better than that for all the toil, hard work and sacrifice in raising future generations to create a land that has become a beacon for those legally searching for a better life.  I think they would be appalled that they are being used as an example by those waving foreign country flags.

And for that suggestion about taking down the Statute of Liberty, it happens to mean a lot to the citizens who are voting on the immigration bill.  I wouldn't start talking about dismantling the United States just yet.

(signed)

Rosemary LaBonte

P.S. Pass this on to everyone you know!!!  KEEP THIS LETTER MOVING!!  I hope this letter gets read by millions of people all across the nation!! ~~ r.p.
Lets stir up some more juices here see 4666 - not exactly Ellis Island

Tags

  1. illegal immigration
  2. immigrants

Comments


Seth says
What Rosmary has not taken into her analysis is how different the situation is between then and now.  Back in 1900 there was no pressure to exclude and marginalize the immigrants ... No, they were welcomed at Ellis Island and after a bit of  red tape were accepted into the country.   That is not the situation that faces our immigrants from Latin America.  It looks to me that it is our restriction on immigration and the fact that entire families cannot just come here as they could in 1900 that forces Latino's to keep their hearts back in their home land.  Interview some Latino's who were lucky enough to be allowed to immigrate here legally.  I will be that they have the same attitudes twards this country as the Euopean immigrants of the 1900s.  Things are not always what they seem.  It is our lawas and exclusions that are the cause of the attitude ... not the other way around.

Mark de LA says
You missed the point again. Most illegal immigrants are interested in themselves & not America or becoming Americans.
If Americans were to make them all legal by a stroke of the pen they would still be interested in themselves. They would still try to make a lot of money by their standards & go back to Mexico or wherever & live like kings instead of reforming their own countries.

Seth says
M 2006-07-14 07:21:10 3930
You missed the point again. 
Didn't miss the point ... i just totally disagree that is the fact of the matter. 

Mgx says
Well Seth, I suggest you move to Mexico and Demand the same services that they (the Illegals)are Demanding here. And be sure to remind the Mexican Goverment that they "Owe it to You".

Abbie says
You did miss the point...

I have to tell you Seth that if you think that immigrants of the 1900s were welcomed here with open arms you need to remember they were allowed in the gate freely BUT they had to work every inch of the way from that time forward... NO ONE HANDED THEM ANYTHING!

They had to learn English, they had to work to pay for food, the only thing they got was a â??Welcome to Americaâ?? nothing else was provided for them!

Todayâ??s Immigrants would be welcomed freely in America if they behaved as those immigrants of the 1990s did... and that is the point!



Shannon says
I believe that people from Mexico have the right to come into the United States BUT they have to do it the legal way just like everyone else. I am fortunate to have been born here just like my parents but my grandparent weren't. They came here from Ireland and had to become citizens the LEGAL way. They worked hard and the hard work paid off.
Has anyone ever read the "rules" to becoming a Mexican citizen? I did and I had to laugh. The Mexican government has many "rules" for you and me to become a citizen but yet want us to have none?
We have laws for a reason...if we didn't there would be caos. I believe everyone should go through the same process and once they do - they would be very proud of themselves and the accomplishment!
God Bless America!

Mark de LA says
It is fascinating that this topic has attracted more new bloggers than any other one. Welcome aboard !


Rich says
Seth has certainly missed the point. Every sane country in the world has immigration laws to protect their society. Mexico certainly does. Anyone who comes should be willing to work and have something to contribute and assimilate, not just come and live off American largese. Over 30% of the inmates in our jails are illegal immigrants who were put there for committing crimes other than illegal immigration. America has a right to insist that those that come mean to support themselves, that they are not criminals or terrorists, will become Americans, and that they are not carrying an infectuous disease (which is why immigrants in 1900 had to stay for 2 weeks on Ellis or Angel Island).

Finally, America is great because of immigrants assimilating and adding the strengths of their culture to American culture. If each culture collects in segregated areas, keeps to themselves, and insists on remaining separate, we are doomed as a society.

Dennis says
I'm sorry, but this letter is erroneous and misguiding.
There is a reason it was not printed for public consumption.
The illusion that Ellis Island welcomed only grateful immigrants is exaggerated,
and a poor attempt to hide bigotry under patriotism to appear PC.

"...did everything in their power to help their children assimilate into one culture"
When those huddled masses landed on American soil they went to Little Italy, China Town, and those places people of their own ethnicity gathered, just like we do as Americans.
How many of you live in a land of "one culture?"

Each group brings its own set of cultural problems. The Italians brought the Mafia, the Chinese brought Opium, the Germans brought coleslaw.

"They made learning English a primary rule"
I almost fell out of my chair on this one I laughed so hard.
Learning English was primary for some, but to say that it was a standard for even most immigrants is ludicrous. Have you ever been to New York, they still don't know it!

"Some would even get down on their hands and knees and kiss the ground."
Duh, do you know what it was like traveling by boat in the 1900's?!
Of course they were glad to be in America, think about where they were coming from, poverty, plague, aristocracy.

"They had waved good bye to their birth place to give their children a new life and did everything in their power to help their children assimilate into one culture."
Come on, what is this, a ferry tale? Has this woman ever read a history book?
Is she referring to the diseases, alcoholism, gambling and prostitution of the 1900's?
Has this woman not seen The Godfather?

"When we liberated France, no one in those villages were looking for the French-American or the German American or the Irish American. The people of France saw only Americans."
The only thing the French saw was a multicultural army doing the fighting for them.

"I believe that the immigrants who landed on Ellis Island in the early 1900s deserve better than that for all the toil, hard work and sacrifice in raising future generations"
I'm amazed at this lady's ability to think like an immigrant, compare two sets of immigrants and dislike immigrants all at the same time.
If this woman lived in the 1900's she would be complaining that the new immigrants should be more like the freed slaves and blend in better. (you know I'm right)

The immigrants of Ellis island and today share more in common than most "True Americans" are willing to see or even spend 10 minutes to investigate. Try living poor in Mexico for one month and I dare you not to try and cross the border by any means possible.
In 1900 or even in 2006, every human wants to escape poverty and oppression.
Most Americans don't know that if you speak in desent about the Mexican govement you can be put in jail.

If I moved to Oregon and lived there for 3 years and it was time for the fourth of July parade, I would be waving the flag of California and represent my home state with pride. Just like Oregon and California, Mexico is only an imaginary border apart.

And I'm sure all the Christian conservatives would agree that Jesus wanted us to live and love together on the ONE ROUND BORDERLESS PLANET he left us to watch over!

Shame on "True Americans" who shake their finger at other cultures for not being more like America. The US has more checks and balances in place to insure that this country doesn't fall into the hands of despots and big business men trying to profit off of our economy. That way you don't have to escape to find the kind of freedom you have here.

Damn the American idiot who claims that other countries must deal with their own problems and then claim with arrogance that we are the example for the rest of the world. The people of Iraq would call you a hypocrite.

Damn the men of this country who advocate torture and imprisonment without trial and call themselves a patriot of democracy, freedom and Christianity.
Anyone who cried when they beat Jesus in the Passion of the Christ and advocates torture, even to save his own life, is a hypocrite.
I thought we were the example?
I thought we came here to escape just those kinds of oppresive rules.
Shame on those who despise people running from oppression and then create it themselves.

Damn those who fought for the right to bear arms and claimed that right from the Constitution of the Untied States, and then spit on the rest of the freedoms the founding fathers created because the enemy does it too.

The Mexican people should, and most are, grateful for what they have.
But those rich 1% SOB's that hire illegal labor then lie about it, (WalMart) are the ones creating immagration laws and they are the people immigrants are really protesting.
What did you think immigrants, or you, would do?
"Oh yes senior, send me back I won't resist, I deserve to receive half of the normal living wage making your tomatoes cheaper to buy and cleaning your toilets, then get kicked out when I speak too loudly about giving an almost free lunch."

You want the real truth? Can you handle the truth?
The reason you are paying $3 dollars a gallon for gas is because you don't have the same courage the Mexicans have to protest!
They actually risked getting caught in the open and deported to speak their peace.
Look at you sitting on your ass bitching about "the mexican problem" and your getting hosed by big oil.
During the recent Israeli war, the prices went up because we "might" have a shortage in the middle east. Well? The war is on hold, again.
Why haven't the prices gone down?

Oil's Prices are traded on Politics, and Speculation.
They use almost the same machines to pump them, they mostly still come from the same place. There are more oil riggs now that at anytime in history.
Why is it still $3?
Because we are sheeple.

Ok, sorry, I went off topic and got wound up a bit.
Those that landed on Ellis Island in the 1900's would have built an immigration station at the Mexican border not a friggin fence!
The lady that wrote this letter needs to realise that those that have immigrated have an open heart and open mind to new cultures or they wouldn't have survived here.

I understand that lady was trying to make a point without sounding like a biggot.
She failed, that is why her letter wasn't printed by the editor of that paper.

Mexicans that are here legally agree that everyone should go through the process of normalization, and no one should get a free lunch.
But let it go already. Who would you rather have immigrating into this country?
More Christians or radical Muslims?
Get back to church and get back to that Holy Spirit you christians keep talking about.
You are supposed to embrace our Christian brothers and sisters.
Not check their wallets for an immigration card first.
Mexican people are some of the most devout people on the planet.
What would Jesus do?
Not what you are doing, you must be aware of that.
Right, brothers?

We have bigger fish to fry people.
Almost the whole world is mad at us for one thing or another, we got to watch each others back now.
The friggin Ice caps are melting, global warming is no longer a myth, terrorists are killing our troops, our troops have to buy their own armor, gas is still $3 a gallon!
Refocus your outrage on things that make a difference, not people you think are different.

Dennis
http://911billofrights.blogspot.com/

Bog says
Hey Dennis, I have no idea where you live, but here in Minneasota it was 34 degrees F over the past three days; the normal temp is about 30 degrees warmer during this time of year. "Global Warming" is a myth see the link following for the facts: (http://www.abd.org.uk/green_myths.htm)

Gas isn't $3/gallon out here (try $2 for regular unleaded).

Funny how "the whole world is mad at us", yet they all have their hands out for our aid and $$.

And why do the 'troops have to buy their own armor'? Ask the Clinton regime why they decided to slash the defense budget.

My ancestors fled the Communists during the Russian Revolution, and when they landed at Ellis Island they assimilated, and didn't expect handouts like the 'immigrants' do now. I remember my great grandmother telling me "when I came to this country, I learned English, since that was the language. I became an American, I wasn't a Russian anymore".

m1j says
Dennis seems passionat. It is a shame he does not know what a Christian is. Then again there are a lot of Christians that do not either. I am a Christian and Christ said following the law of the land was required. Unless that law contridicts Gods law. I know how bad things are in Mexico. I would like to help. But I am not about to open my home and put risk of harm on my family to help other people. i must protect my own first then I can help others. If I do not tend the log in my own eye I am of no help to anyone. This goes for tending my needs as well. America as a country must follow this same idea. Too many people in a life boat will sink it. If America does not limit its generosity it will sink. It is not legal imigrants that is the problem. It is the illegal alians that are the problem. They are not immagrents. They are invaders. If someone breaks into my home to sleep and eat my food I am still going to run them out at gun point. But if they knock at my door and ask for help I will give it to them. Why so many people can not see the truth of this issue is beyond me. It seems so clear to me.

Mark de LA says
Fred Lanting 2007-02-06 11:46:29 3930
How can I get in touch with Rosemary LaBonte? I want to quote her in my newspaper column. Fred
(use mr.gsd @ juno.com for e-mail)
Apparently if you google around she seems to be an urban legend. Good Luck finding her.

LEWIS says
THIS IS YET ANOTHER URBAN LEGEND!!!!
CHECK OUT http://www.snopes.com/politics/immigration/newimmigrants.asp

Brian says
M1j,

What would CHRIST do in this situation.

You are alone and illegal in a foreign country without anything but the cloths on your back. You have no money and have not eaten or had anything to drink in days in days.

Would Jesus say?
You do not belong in this country, go home, or would he feed you and give you shelter?

Brian says
Dennis,

My college graphic design professor once commented on some of work saying:

If we had more of you we could fly up out of here!

You are an inspiration to what is truly human (humane) in many of us! Some of us, however, have not yet relinquished their primal instincts... fears, insecurities... etc.
They live blindly in ignorance.





Mark de LA says
Brian 2007-03-13 15:11:32 3930
M1j,

What would CHRIST do in this situation.

You are alone and illegal in a foreign country without anything but the cloths on your back. You have no money and have not eaten or had anything to drink in days in days.

Would Jesus say?
You do not belong in this country, go home, or would he feed you and give you shelter?
IMHO, (my guess), would be that he would help those in need & then tell them to "pay it forward"!   Let those migrants who profit from the better conditions in this country help out those back in their own country. They should go back & transform their own country so that migration is no longer desirable nor necessary. What's needed is a transformation of the corruption in such societies that drives people elsewhere & causes such economic imbalances.  Importing corruption from such countries & transforming the USA into a collection of "little 3rd world countries" would not be his idea of the Golden Rule - see the discussion elsewhere.

Dennis says
Thanks Brian, that made my day. I am a graphic artist myself. My email is on my 911 site.

m1j: I know what a Christian is, I was one for most of my life. It's not that complicated.

LEWIS: this letter was origianaly sent and published in the O.C. Register Newspaper. Snopes is wrong (again).
2004 Letter-writers Hall of Fame
www.ocregister.com/ocr/2005/01/02/sections/commentary/article_347669.php

Chris Yoder says
What is funny that is if you look up this letter on snopes.com there is not a stitch of truth to it.Did anyone bother to check its validity :-)

Mark de LA says
I think I published the letter not for it's context, but because it said some of the things that were on my mind at that time, last July.  Don't get too hung-up on the periphery stuff. The contents still have a ring in the hearts & minds of the people who were actually born in this country or came from emigrants long ago & love it in spite of her faults & problems.


Rosemary LaBonte says
I wrote this letter in May 2006 following "el gringo day" in Southern California. It wasn't printed in the OC Register because so many letters with the same theme were filling their e-mails. Over the years I have had many other letters published by them on various subjects. Thank you to all you read this immigration letter. I appreciated reading your viewpoints whether you agreed with the spirit of it or not.

Tom Evans says
Response:

I am also a descendant of people that immigrated to the United States. While I agree that my relatives were very grateful for the opportunity to start in a new world and were very happy to learn that you could work hard and make a living. I do disagree with a lot of things in your letter.

Patriotism: Certainly people fought to keep America and their own homeland free. They often fought against their own relatives on the other side of the lines. They are proud of the flag and what it means. But to say that they do not still feel Irish, Polish, German, etc is wrong. Ask someone what their nationality is and they will not say American. They are something other. They wave flags and have parades that celebrate their heritage. And rightly they do. They color the river green in Chicago to celebrate their Irish heritage. To say that they were perfect citizens is also a stretch. The Irish brought their gangs and drinking to the US. The Italians brought their gangsters and murderers to the US to set up operations. The Puerto Ricans had huge sections of New York that they controlled with gangs. We made it through with an attitude that we will solve the problems.

Hispanics are a similar case. The US offers a place of salvation. The immigrants from the south certainly kiss the ground when they come here. They do not arrive on a ship and are welcomed at centers that process them. They do not have a statue that honors their sacrifice and dedication. They often travel by night over desserts and through rivers. Or they are packed inside trucks while they are smuggled into the country. Many die in the trip. They have to pay money to the smugglers to get an opportunity to enter the country. While they do have opportunities to get jobs in our country, they constantly have to look over their shoulder to escape the deportation back to their country. There are exceptions to every statement. All immigrants are not good citizens. Certainly there are criminals that need punishment. There are gangs that have formed with the youth and those create violence in the community. There are people that abuse the welfare system and get free medical care. But the majority of the people are here for the same reason that our ancestors came to the US. They want to feed their family. They want to live in a country that does not have corrupt police. They want to live in a country that honors good work and a desire to succeed. Certainly there is a history of Hispanic people that have succeeded in education, politics, military, business etc. that show that dedication to the US ideal works.

We need immigration reform in the US. The biggest issue is to punish the people that being the immigrants into the country and the people that hire those people. We need to have some kind of temporary visa program to allow people to come in for specific jobs. We also need to change our policy of automatic citizenship if you are born here. What we do not need is for our citizens to understand that the people are not here illegally to hurt them. They are here out of desperation. Just like our ancestors. Only our ancestors did not have to face quotas and limitations. They had to fight distance.

Mark de LA says
What we really need is for people from other countries to stay home & reform their own countries & their own societies!  Let them make their own opportunities in their own countries - there are plenty if they look around.  Let them wait for an invitation to come to the USA if they are needed.  Let their first acts in this country NOT BE TO BREAK A LAW!
I disagree with your statement, Tom Evans, I can only identify as an American - I am a mix of many different peoples & I was born in the USA. 

Seth says
M 2007-06-12 08:49:09 3930
seth 2007-06-12 08:08:29 3930
M 2007-06-12 08:02:08 3930
What we really need is for people from other countries to stay home & reform their own countries & their own societies!  Let them make their own opportunities in their own countries - there are plenty if they look around.  Let them wait for an invitation to come to the USA if they are needed.  Let their first acts in this country NOT BE TO BREAK A LAW!
Let them eat cake!
Well, that's kind of a stupid response, what are you saying? This isn't the French Revolution. It's more like an invasion.
No, i'm just saying that it sounds like your comming from the same place that Marie Antoinette was comming.

Mark de LA says
seth 2007-06-12 11:49:55 3930
M 2007-06-12 08:49:09 3930
seth 2007-06-12 08:08:29 3930
M 2007-06-12 08:02:08 3930
What we really need is for people from other countries to stay home & reform their own countries & their own societies!  Let them make their own opportunities in their own countries - there are plenty if they look around.  Let them wait for an invitation to come to the USA if they are needed.  Let their first acts in this country NOT BE TO BREAK A LAW!
Let them eat cake!
Well, that's kind of a stupid response, what are you saying? This isn't the French Revolution. It's more like an invasion.
No, i'm just saying that it sounds like your comming from the same place that Marie Antoinette was comming.
But, Marie Antoinette  was dealing with a revolution in her own country - didn't she loose her head over that remark ?  This is an invasion from other countries.  It's not the task of the USA to support the peoples of failed countries, Iraq notwithstanding. 

Mark de LA says
Here is a slightly humorous take on the fence & immigration & the White House.


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