Letter to the Editor
It is too bad that some people are opposed to the measures before Congress and the President that would help the millions of immigrants who have come to our country. This is a good chance for this Congress and this President to go down in history for doing something good and will help improve their image of warmongering nationbuilders who invade foreign lands at will, resulting in bloodshed for innocent civilians and thousands of our young Servicemen and Servicewomen.
Besides that, it is common knowledge. We are all immigrants. All of us (except for the Native Americans, and scientists claim it is even a possibility that they came from somewhere else, perhaps East Asia), have ancestors who immigrated here from a foreign land. Most of us, like myself, are a simmering melting pot (I have researched my family tree and found Dutch, German, English, Scottish, French, Russian, Hungarian, and Swedish, among other nationalities) I can't imagine any of my ancestors being declared criminals or thrown out of the country because they looked different, sounded different, or had a different culture. Can you imagine yours being declared felons just for coming here? Furthermore, can you imagine the Pilgrims or the settlers of Jamestown being arrested and sent back to England? Can you imagine the humble Amish from Jamesport, Mo., or the sturdy Germans from Hermann, Mo. Being jailed and deported? What about the French who gave Missouri so much of our legal and political heritage? Send them back to France? I think not.
Today's settlers do not come only from the Latin countries. When I lived in the San Francisco Bay area, a 1990 survey revealed that China, Britain, and Russia sent the mot immigrant to that part of California. And what if they do come from the Latin countries south of the border? They bring with them a beautiful heritage and culture and an appreciation and zest for human life. Most of them have a great work ethic and are moral people who practice some type of Christian religion.. I welcome the Hispanics to our county and hope to see them move in in bigger numbers like they have in other parts of southwest Missouri.
We have always been a nation of immigrants. To turn our back on the people who have come here the past decade or so would be anathema to what America stands for and what Americans practice and preach. And this wave of immigration is far better for the United States of America than for us to "invade" the shores of other nations and impose our culture and way of life on others.
Immigration is fast becoming the boiling pot issue for 2006 and beyond. We need to stand firm with our new Americans and our new Americans to be. And it wouldn't hurt any of us to learn a little Spanish. It's a beautiful language and is not that hard to learn.
-- David Shipp