Letter: Cultural diversity helps make America great

From: Richard Crawford


What happened to the days when we described ourselves as the world’s melting pot? Almost all of us are the descendants of courageous people who braved perilous journeys to a new land of promise and opportunity. When we call America the land of the free and the brave, it is more than a slogan, it’s a statement of fact.

The newest wave of immigrants are just the latest part of a very long story of people yearning for a better, safer and more prosperous future for themselves and their children. I can’t think of anything more American than that.

Many argue that all of these folks (11 million by some estimates) are criminals in violation of federal law and should be deported even though many have been here for decades. I would argue that such a remedy is near nonsense. Should we drive buses with 50 people in each one to the border? It will take 220,000 trips to do it. Looks like we will have to buy a whole lot of buses, drivers and guards. How much is that going to cost the taxpayers?

My point is that this is something that will cause more pain, suffering and expense than we can possibly imagine. This is not a problem that has a solution that will fit on a bumper sticker. This is a complicated problem that calls for a whole lot of American ingenuity.

My parents always told me that wherever you go most people are basically kind and decent. As an American citizen I cannot stand mute as millions are potentially rounded up into detention camps. To do so would be neither kind nor decent. The number of people and families who would be harmed by this is equal to the combined populations of Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Philadelphia. Any reasonable person should conclude that such a thing is just not possible logistically.

The more sensible course would be to harness the power of 11 million new taxpayers, adding their cultural diversity to our own. That just seems like a good deal for everybody. We can debate the time table as well as the details. Above all, however, we must not shame ourselves by condoning acts of cruelty. We are Americans, and we are better than that.