Letter to Seattle Post Intelligencer, printed December 4, 1996
Richard Pelto and Ronald Angel wrote letters (Nov 30) complaining about the negative effects of immigration. They mention crowded freeways, schools and prisons; dirty air & water; overflowing landfills, etc. I agree those are real problems and need to be dealt with.
However, with all due respect, I would like to propose a simpler solution than combating immigrants. They could move to South Dakota. With the sale of their homes, they could buy plenty of land in one of the under-populated parts of this country. The truth is most of us prefer to live in highly populated areas. Why? Because people create opportunities for each other: better hospitals, universities, stores, libraries, entertainment and jobs.
Mr. Pelto and other members of "Citizens for Immigration Control" no doubt appreciate a meal out from time to time. That meal would cost a lot more were it not for immigrants who cook, serve and clean the tables—as well as harvest most of the food. There is certain hypocrisy here: we enjoy the benefits of low cost immigrant labor, but we blame them for our economic problems.
As pastor of a congregation with many immigrants, I can vouch that not one is here on a vacation. They want to work and they find jobs because our local economy needs their labor. It is counter-productive to make it difficult for them to obtain documents.
I was born and raised in Western Washington. I love this area as much as Mr. Pelto and Mr. Angel, but an accident of birth does not give me more rights than a person newly arrived from California—or anywhere else.
Fr. Phillip Bloom