A recent letter to the editor claims the Biden administration and the Democrats have it all wrong. There is one portion of the letter that has really angered me. This point is on the Biden administration increasing immigration. The letter writer insinuated newcomers to our country will be a burden to the United States of America.
This is seriously flawed. The United States is a nation of immigrants. In fact, the pilgrims were religious refugees. On the Statue of Liberty, there is a quote "Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, your wretched refuse of your teaming shore."
Unless you were born a descendent of Native Americans, all Americans are descendants of immigrants. Some of them were quite unwilling. I am talking about the African-Americans who were brought here as slaves to work the cotton plantations of the south; the Chinese-Americans, who came to United States to help build the railroad. Then there were the Irish, Italians and the Polish, who immigrated to this country to work in the quarries and other local businesses. The latest refugees from Syria already have jobs and are paying taxes. What I am saying is that immigrants make a huge contribution to our society.
At the same time, these new immigrants faced discrimination. An example of this discrimination were the signs such as "No Irish need apply." This happened at the same time these people were trying to make a better life for themselves.
We need immigrants as without immigration, the United States population would be declining. Immigrants work the jobs most Americans don't want to do. There is also the story of Lewiston, Maine, that totally revitalized when it accepted a bunch of Somali refugees. Also, there are qualifications that these new immigrants need to fulfil to become Americans. When people start complaining about immigrants or refugees, ask yourself, where did they originally come from?
Ron Hemenway lives in Rutland.