Readers Respond

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Letters to the Pilot

No joy for displaced immigrants

To the editor:

I would like to wish a Merry Christmas to the employees of Swift and Co., whose lives were disrupted and whose families torn apart, but it does not feel right to say that now. I guess the best I can do is say "God bless you and your families." I personally think it is a sad statement of our values, when our government chooses to raid these plants just before Christmas. If there were people at those plants who were guilty of identity theft, then that could and should have been handled the same as it would have been had they been Anglo Americans. As it is, only two people were charged with theft at Marshalltown and now at Worthington.

We must keep in mind that the actions by our government go way beyond packing plants. Missing 10 percent of employees at these plants causes slowdowns and stoppages of production lines, which delays the ability of hog producers to get their animals to slaughter. It may cause a drop in prices to the producers and an increase in prices to the consumers. It also affects the profit of the company and eventually the profit on investments by shareholders in the company.

Let's face the facts. The economy of this country is dependent on immigrants, both legal and illegal. If our government had enacted a fair and just immigration law with an easily verifiable identification system, then employers would be able to verify that a person can work legally in the U.S. We need to control immigration, beginning at the border, using more electronic monitoring, and a better system of identification, and it must be made easier for people to get work permits and residency through legal means.

- Lowell Fields, Storm Lake