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Raid hurts families, kids

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The recent immigration raid at a Portland-area food processing plant is evidence of the disregard Immigration and Customs Enforcement has toward Latino families and the Latino community in general (Immigration anxiety hits home, stays hot, June 15).

To arrest individuals without regard to their children and families is a travesty.

Numerous families report that children are afraid to attend school for fear that when they return home, their parents may not be there because they have been picked up in a raid.

As a result, the children (many who are born in the United States) are not attending school. Those who are attending school are distracted and worried.

Undocumented workers in the United States fill the jobs that few others choose to do. Therefore, undocumented workers do not depress wages for others. On the contrary, globalization and outsourcing work to other countries has reduced wages in the United States.

Undocumented workers do not take advantage and live off of social services. In fact, they are unable to benefit from these services due to their undocumented status.

Comprehensive immigration reform is needed that allows for legal immigration to this country, and employment and opportunity for citizenship. Stop the grandstanding for public opinion by detaining people who only wish to make a living and feed their families.

Rather than arresting workers, Immigration and Customs Enforcement should be attempting to secure our borders from real threats to the nation's security.

Let's demand a stop to these raids that separate families and polarize our communities.

Gustavo Balderas-Garcia

President, Oregon Association of Latino Administrators

Southwest Portland

Potter's immigration stance is 'appalling'

I thought I would share with you the e-mail I just sent to Mayor Tom Potter, in regard to his blasting of Immigration and Customs Enforcement's raid of the Fresh Del Monte plant in North Portland (Immigration anxiety hits home, stays hot, June 15).

Potter is a disgrace, especially since he is a former cop. He is the kind of liberal who is responsible for a good deal of the problems in this country. Keep in mind that this one raid at one plant revealed that out of 600 workers, only 48 had valid Social Security numbers. Here is my letter:

Mayor Potter:

As you are a former law enforcement man and the current mayor of Portland, having to take oaths of office that include upholding the laws of the land, your stance against the raid of illegal alien workers is not just disappointing and shameful, it is appalling. This great country was built on the backs of immigrants, legal immigrants.

Illegal aliens break a great number of laws by simply entering our country and stealing jobs from legal Americans. They break the law by crossing the border illegally. They break the law again by identifying themselves illegally. They break the law yet again by illegally using the Social Security numbers of legal American citizens. A great number of them break the law yet again by registering and voting illegally.

Identity theft and social security fraud is rampant throughout this country and a danger to all legal Americans. Would you turn a blind eye and/or defend the identity thief who uses someone's Social Security number to make a better life for themselves and their family if they weren't an illegal alien?

Do you even consider the damage illegal aliens do to legal American citizens' credit by illegally using their Social Security number?

What about the senior citizen or disabled person who relies on what little support they get from Social Security having to fight for their benefits because the Social Security office is showing they made money recorded under their Social Security number illegally used by an illegal alien?

They face having their benefits cut off and having to fight to prove that they didn't actually earn those wages, and these legal citizens are the ones who can least afford to face this kind of challenge.

You say you fight for diversity? How can you say that with a straight face when the majority of the workers at the Del Monte plant are Hispanic/Latino, other than supervisory positions.

Where is your outrage at the lack of diversity among the common frontline worker at this plant? This indicates that you only care about diversity when it suits you. You are part of the crowd that claims that illegal aliens do the jobs legal American workers don't want to do.

Well, I suggest you take a look at the huge numbers of legal American workers who lined up to replace the illegal workers at that plant this morning!

My husband and I used to live within the Portland city limits. We never will again as long as the city is run by people like you and the rest of the Portland City Council.

Keli Jones

Beaverton

Mayor was right to criticize racist raid

For the 'crime' of working for a living, more than 160 residents of Portland were torn from their homes and workplace, separated from friends and family, hauled off in restraints and, in many cases, quickly transported out of state so their loved ones cannot visit them (Immigration anxiety hits home, stays hot, June 15).

In the wake of these brutal, racist tactics - a shameful part of the campaign of intimidation waged against Latino immigrants every day in this country - entire communities struggle to put their world back together.

Meanwhile, local papers and airwaves are filled with hateful rants against decent, hardworking human beings the critics have never met. I applaud the mayor for his quick condemnation of the raids, and encourage the city to work toward a formal policy of sanctuary for immigrants.

Candace Larson

Southeast Portland

U.S. must continue history of inclusion

Opponents of the comprehensive immigration bill seem to think that doing nothing somehow will solve the problem. They falsely hope that work-site enforcement, border fences and more imprisonment of noncitizens would somehow cause undocumented immigrants to go home.

A more likely scenario would be millions of destitute people burdening medical and social services as new refugees within America. Hopeless and angry, some may resort to violent uprisings like those seen among immigrants in France as well as among the black South Africans under apartheid.

In America, such conflicts have largely been avoided because its laws respect universal human rights, due process, civil liberties and racial equality. What U.S. politicians and government agents do to the foreigners among us will become the public image of America to the world.

As a pioneer in full inclusion of immigrants, and in universal human rights, America has not only a constitutional obligation but an international obligation under several U.N. human rights conventions to pass a realistic immigration reform that legalizes the 12 million undocumented workers currently in the U.S., restores due process, creates legal channels of immigration, and stops the criminal enterprises that benefit from human trafficking and slave labor.

Rev. Sarah A. Morrigan

North Portland