Readers React: All the riches in America can’t make up for what many immigrants leave behind

A Mexican woman holds her grandchild as she walks across the Paso Del Norte Port of Entry near El Paso on Wednesday.
(Herika Martinez / AFP/Getty Images)

To the editor: Jonah Goldberg presents a very simplistic, one-sided argument on the plight of migrants. He states that “poor people want to be richer,” so they immigrate to the U.S. or Western Europe.

As a child of immigrant parents who were forced to leave their country, I can tell you that none of those “riches” can make up for the loss of extended family, language and culture that we must sacrifice on this unpropitious journey. Most immigrants would gladly live without the amenities of this “rich” country for a chance to live in our own country, one rich in family traditions, respect, honor, humility and empathy.

Those are just a few of the attributes that a consumer-driven, “rich” society fails to value.

Mercedes Sironi, Imperial Beach, Calif.



To the editor: When Goldberg says “so long as there are very poor countries,” he fails to ask the obvious: Why are there such countries? An answer lies in the choice of self-government made over centuries by every country.

England took almost 1,000 years to perfect its parliamentary democracy, itself based on concepts developed from Greco-Roman times. Along the way England’s experiences spawned the U.S. Constitution and the great democracies of its colonies, including India. The socioeconomic and political success of these experiments in self-government is obvious.

A counterexample is today’s Venezuela, just 25 years ago a country that benefited from its oil wealth. But its own people elected Hugo Chavez and his socialist policies.


Compare the results. Poor countries have a means to change their destiny. It is a choice, not a preordained outcome.

Ken Artingstall, Glendale


To the editor: Goldberg once again uses a false equivalency when he blames both parties for not taking immigration seriously enough. I’m really tired of the “both sides” arguments used by conservatives to cover up the atrocities of this administration.

There is only one side that owns the current mess, and there is only one side that can easily fix it today. Yet we have a president who admitted to using suffering children as leverage to get his wall built.

Mark Chipman, San Diego

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion and Facebook

A cure for the common opinion

Get thought-provoking perspectives with our weekly newsletter.

You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.