During the months of April and May we received quite a few responses regarding the immigration issue. We were going to highlight our very positive rally held on May 1, 2006 where over 1000 people rallied at the City Hall steps in York, PA. However, we had gotten some interesting feedback and we wanted to share them with our readers, along with our collective response. Please feel free to email or write us with your feelings on the matter.

They Say:

– Illegal immigrants are just that, illegal. Period. They should all be deported. Period. If we were illegal in their country, we would all be in jail! Immigrants is one thing. That means you worked at the process to arrive legally. If you sneak in and then you will steal, and then you will lie. Basic human knowledge.

– ALL 12 MILLION should be deported immediately. They are not paying taxes, illegals took work from ME across the street from my HOME BUILDING A NEW WALMART!!! when I had a hard time paying my mortage (SIC) and would have gladly done the work!!! SO DEPROT (SIC) IMMEDIATELY, you will not win!!

– You do not use the word “illegal” in your newsletter or website. That is an extreme viewpoint in my opinion.

– Americans welcome immigrates who enter our country legally. The United States of America has a right to defend our border, although we have not done a very good job of that in the past. That is changing now as the sleeping giant has been awakened.

– Please consider taking a more moderate stance on your views. There is a backlash developing in this country to all of the “pro-illegal” immigration that is currently being organized by many anti-American/pro-socialist groups.

– Currently there are 100,000 “illegal” immigrates in prison. 92% of American citizens (77% of “legal” immigrates) want English to be the official language. Please put more of your paper, radio, and website in English.

We Say:

Thanks for taking the time to share your opinion with us.

First, to call a person “illegal” is an extreme action in our opinion. We believe that people can do illegal things, but there is no law saying that their being is illegal. There is one who decides if someone has the right to exist or not; He does not have to answer to any man-made laws. So we believe it is fair and just to refer to folks as undocumented or documented.

We also understand that there is a growing backlash against the pro-immigration movement. In a country of over 300 million people, there are going to be many different opinions on everything. But we hope to be able to engage in peaceful, respectful dialogues with anyone who is willing to discuss this issue with us. You did mention that the movement is being organized by “many anti-American/pro-socialist groups”. We’d be very interested in you telling us about these groups. Were you referring to the demonstrators who were Catholic priests, Methodist and Lutheran ministers, or representative of the American Friends Service Committee which is part of the Quakers? Did you know that the first Governor of Pennsylvania, William Penn, was a Quaker? Or maybe you were talking about the thousands of war veterans who risked their lives to protect our country who also participated in the demonstrations. Are these the socialist, anti-Americans you’re talking about? We don’t think so.

As far as the issue over official English goes, that’s an old story. Did you know that Benjamin Franklin and others thought about declaring English as the official language because they were upset at so many German-language publications in Pennsylvania? They didn’t end up making that declaration, by the way. Also, every time that large numbers of non-English speaking people enter our country, someone brings up the idea that we are in danger of losing English as the official language.

Well, over 200 years later English is in no danger. It survived the Germans, the Jews, the Italians, the French and it’s going to survive the Spanish-speaking people also. We just don’t see the point of this debate that has come and gone since our country became a country.

We do publish much of our material in English but we also enjoy practicing our Spanish and we will continue to publish materials in Spanish, too. Remember, it’s a free country.

Sincerely,

The HABLA editors