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Readers React: Immigrants have been scapegoats for both parties when the economy goes south

Hundreds of Mexican immigrants await deportation at a Los Angeles train station in 1932. The Great Depression prompted mass deportations in the 1930s and '40s.
(Associated Press)

To the editor: Dave Seminara fails to take into account that backlash against immigrants has also occurred under Democratic leadership. (“Liberals say immigration enforcement is racist, but the group most likely to benefit from it is black men,” Opinion, March 16)

In the 1930s, there were millions of deportations under the leadership of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and as a child I remember the roundups in Los Angeles that created fear and panic under President Carter. And how can we forget President Obama, who promised immigration reform, but instead earned the title “deporter in chief”?

Complaints about immigrants tend to fade during economic boom times, but when the economy goes south, immigrants are scapegoated. In California, we have made progress in moving beyond blaming immigrants for the lack of opportunities for other minorities.

I await Seminara’s continued dispatches in which he will hopefully show how millions of Americans are flocking to take manual labor jobs in the agriculture and service sectors that are being vacated by immigrant labor.

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Salvador Jimenez, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Seminara’s courageous piece reminds us how a policy that benefits one segment of society may hurt another.

At a time when the issue of homelessness is under examination, it is important to take into account all variables that directly or indirectly contribute to the problem. Statistics show that although African Americans make up about 13% of our country’s population, they account for about 40% of its homeless population.

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Are our current immigration policies aggravating black homelessness? Addressing this question should be part of a bipartisan effort to better understand the complexity of the problem. Like it or not, sanctuary cities are not excluded from the responsibility of acknowledging the problem and taking steps to address it.

Berta Graciano-Buchman, Beverly Hills

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To the editor: Immigration enforcement should not be a matter of which group benefits. It should be a matter of law enforcement.

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Robert L. Shaw, Deland, Fla.

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