In reply to his column "Immigration debate needs dose of civility" found here: News-Leader.com Tony Messenger, I wrote:
Dear Mr. Messenger,
How ironic that you call for a dose of civility in the immigration debate while based on this simple one sentence note written and left at the Acambaro Restaurant stating...:
"This is a disgrace to the country that is supporting you. ... You have proved nothing by closing."
...you go on to imply that American citizens who disagree with aliens entering our country ILLEGALLY and who would like our borders secured are:
- unable to see "shades of gray"
- suspect every brown skinned person in America of being an illegal alien, "a lawbreaker, a felon."
- do not stand up for families
- do not support their neighbors
- would run like "a raging train of "white flight" once "one of them" moved in"
You write that this debate has nothing to do with the rule of law, but rather "plain, old fashioned bigotry."
When have you addressed the issues I raised at your blog site the other day? When have you replied to these legitimate complaints?:
1). It is ILLEGAL to cross the border without observing legal immigration guidelines
2).They are driving down wages of American citizens, whether those jobs are held by legal immigrants or natural citizens, and the threat is spreading into more and more fields of expertise. Where it was once agriculture, it is now construction and other fields and it is spreading over time.
3). The serious issue of border security at a time when our country is engaged in a war on terrorism. If illegal aliens are allowed to flood across the border unchecked then what is to stop terrorists from crossing that border as well? Will it take another 9/11 before you and our "representatives" represent the best security interests of our OWN country?
4). The issue of disease control. Many illegals who cross the border into our country may not have not been vaccinated for strains of disease that may be effecting our population. Kansas City has recently called on the CDC to help in an investigation into the cause of a recent mumps outbreak
Instead of addressing these issues, Mr. Messenger, and treating them as the legitimate concerns they are, you would prefer to play the role of apologist for illegal immigration. That is certainly your right, however, when you make statements like the one below...:
"...Before we can even consider repairing its fraying edges, however, we have to sit at the table together in an atmosphere of trust, with respect, without name-calling.
We can't even begin to discuss solutions to this complicated problem that was decades in the making until we elevate the discussion beyond white and brown, beyond flag-waving and chest-beating."
...and then imply that anyone who supports HR 4437 is a bigot, or at least the writer of a simple one sentence note left at a restaurant on May Day, which did not name call and did not make ANY of the statements you implied in your column, is a bigot, it is apparent that you only disfavor name calling if coming from those who do not chose to be apologists for ILLEGAL aliens and exempt yourself from that rule.
How ironic that you would call on people to be civil in debating the immigration issue while implying that all those who do not view illegals as "American dreamers," as bigots. The only name calling I saw in your column was coming from you, Mr. Messenger.
Regarding your implications:
- I am able to see "shades of gray"
- I do not suspect every brown skinned person in America of being an illegal alien, "a lawbreaker, a felon."
- I do stand up for the families of the citizens of our country and those of LEGAL immigrants to our country.
- I do support my neighbors
- I would not leave my neighborhood if a Hispanic moved into it, as a matter of fact, I did have a Hispanic neighbor for several years.
I support border security and the ENFORCEMENT of our current immigration laws. I want the border secured and the immigrants who come here to do so legally as law abiding contributors to our society, and I want these issues addressed, rather than certain columnists' attempts at painting all people who support those legitimate concerns as bigots in an effort to ignore the legitimate debate we could be having.
You asked for more than simple "if you don't like our country, leave it," replies. I have given you two, now. Do you really want to have a debate, Mr. Messenger, or do you want to pretend that everyone who might not agree with your apologist position is a bigot? It is entirely up to you.
It appears that shrillness is an option only for apologists for illegal immigration. Those who show passion from the other side of the issue are "accusatory," "screaming, bigots," thank you for your interest in "civil" debate.