July 4, 2008

Letters to the Editor

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Catholic Conference’s immigration series didn’t tell whole story, reader says

Your seven articles about immigration in Indiana have failed to distinguish the difference between immigrants and illegal aliens.

Webster’s Dictionary defines an immigrant as “a person who comes to a country for the purpose of permanent residence,” and an alien as a “foreign-born resident who has not been naturalized and is still a subject or citizen of a foreign country.” Illegal is defined as “not according to or authorized by law, unlawful.”

Legal immigrants have always been welcomed to the United States. Most, however, have had to work as low-paying laborers.

My father came to the United States from Hungary in 1905 through Ellis Island. He worked for 40 years in the foundry of the International Harvester Company in Richmond.

His starting pay was less than 10 cents an hour. He worked about 50 to 60 hours a week. The working conditions in the hot and dusty foundry were difficult. Temperatures in the summer reached 130 degrees. He was extremely proud when he was naturalized in 1923.

I take great exception to your statements that we are mistreating immigrants. Immigrants who come to the front door and wait their turn in the immigration process will be welcome as long as they assimilate into the country.

People who sneak into this country should not expect to be treated like or receive the benefits of citizens.

- Anthony Svarczkopf, Indianapolis

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