IMMIGRANTS: WHAT’S TO BE DONE?
Forest Hills, NY
While I appreciate your positive coverage of the emerging immigration movement, “Immigrants & Us” [April 24] concerned me deeply, both in its tone and intimation. That progressives need to be convinced to join this fight, one that seems to jibe with their values and agenda, is more than a little unsettling. That they have to be coerced or wooed toward it, apparently against their presumed better judgment, fills my throat with bile. If in their hearts US progressives stand against “illegal” immigration for the same or similar wrongheaded, misinformed or racist reasons that many other Americans do, then they can take their strategic false alliances and shove ’em. The immigration movement has more than enough passion and will to supplant such insincerity and prejudice.
GARY C. SUAREZ
Illegal immigrants are the “final solution” for the economic survival of African-Americans. Recently the Washington Post ran a story of 170 displaced (by Katrina) African-Americans promised work in New Orleans by a staffing firm in Mobile, Alabama. When they arrived, the jobs had been filled by illegal immigrants from Mexico. Those types of stories play every day throughout America in black communities. The progressive movement has turned its back on its most loyal supporters, African-Americans and the working poor.
What’s interesting in the whole immigration debate is the lack of discussion of why every day thousands of people risk their lives on treacherous journeys across oceans in little boats, across deserts and rugged terrain on foot or on the top of a train. Is it that their current situation is so desperate that risking death is better than staying put? Can you imagine the type of life they must be living? If so, what is our role? What can governments do to help raise standards of living to better levels? It’s an international problem that calls for a global solution.
What is necessary is a call for real immigration reform, which is to say, a destruction of the whole concept of immigration and border controls and a move toward a European Union-style system of free-flowing borders. If goods can flow freely from one country to another, why can’t people?
KNIGHT RIDDER: RARE, ENDANGERED
A note of appreciation to John Nichols for pointing out the excellent work of Knight Ridder’s Washington bureau [“How to Free the Press,” April 17]. In addition to the prewar stories, they did a painstaking assessment of Judge Alito’s record on the Third Circuit before his confirmation. Not only did they take a barrage of criticism for pointing out that Alito’s opinions generally favored the state, the police and the powerful, but after the criticism came tumbling in, the bureau chief (since retired) wrote an opinion piece defending the reporting and pointing out that there was no “other side.” Alito’s opinions are what they are. If readers didn’t like that, they should take it up with Alito.