COMMUNITY COMMENTARY:

I’m responding to the May 2 Community Commentary “Immigrants here illegally strain area’s resources” written by Jesse L. Byers.

I wish to educate you, provide some truth to your readers and give a voice for the voiceless.

First off, it is hard to read the rants of a fellow American about things that do not include all undocumented immigrants as a whole, put a distorted vision of what seems like an outrage, not a reality.

Ever since our nation was founded, we’ve been a country of immigrants offering the world a place of refuge, peace and a shot at what I still hope is the American dream. I’m not denying that some immigrants try to take advantage of resources. They should be dealt with fairly. But you are talking about a small percentage, compared with the now majority.

Life is hard when the price of living has increased (rent/mortgage, food, bills, etc.), public education is not funded the way it should be, and minimum wage is not enough. These are things that have to be put into account, when blaming a majority of people for mistakes in our government’s economy.

To me it is no surprise that students are fighting for their rights, because education is not a priority in this country — wars are.

I’m a 26-year-old American, son of fortunate Latin and Central American immigrants turned legal residents. I say fortunate because I was born here, and the process to become legal is complicated and financially unrealistic.

I’ve sat down with a lot of immigrants and heard quite extensively about their stories. I’ve seen and heard what my family, as well as others, still go through to live here illegally or come here legally.

I once heard someone say that when you starve the poor, everyone becomes a criminal. If I had a daughter who needs to eat, out of my desperation, I would come here to save my family, no matter what laws I would have to break.

I know a girl who was 2 when her family brought her here illegally. She made her way through school as a straight-A student and was accepted into one of California’s prestigious schools, USC. However, she is illegal. It was not her choice to come here illegally, yet she is paying the price.

Most immigrants come to work their life away doing jobs that Americans will not do, and for less money. There are no demands regarding working conditions. And forget salary, breaks and mistreatment.

I can only imagine what people’s idea of a perfect United States would constitute. Think of 7 million to 9 million or more people who have lived here for years and have become part of our economy, and then they just leave and disappear.

Could you fathom the insurmountable economic loss it would cause? We’re talking all the farming, housekeeping/cleaning, child care, produce, shipping, lifting, cooking, picking up trash/waste, delivering, workers in convalescent homes and construction jobs, just to name a few. It would be a disaster.

If anyone has the right to complain about their job, it is them. This, in a way, has helped our economy. But yet they’re looked at as criminals and terrorists. Excuse me? It’s like someone running across the street to save someone from falling, but giving them a jaywalking ticket.

I’m sorry, but to me, no human being is illegal, especially when you have all these circumstances, and when rational people want global integration. That is what I would like. I have learned that life is not black or white, it is more gray than anything else. Is this any way to treat the poorest and least fortunate among us?


 DAVID BECERRA is a La Cañada Flintridge resident.

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