Omar M. Campbell : Issue up for debate

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Issue up for debate

"Time to Deal; It's Pointless to Debate" was the headline of Our View in the July 27 edition of Steamboat Today.

My hair started to prickle as I read the collective opinion of Pilot & Today staff about illegal aliens -- euphemistically referred to as "immigrants." Soon, the dismissive tone of the heading struck, and all the hair stood on end. The message, in effect: "OK folks, this is the way it is. No need for any more discussion or opinions about this matter. It is a done deal, and it is up to the community to accept and to cope with it." This from a newspaper supposedly dedicated to free speech,

Little reference was made to the reality -- aliens sneaking into the United States in violation of our laws. The article in Sunday's Pilot & Today, about the forum in Craig, dwelled at length about stories of the suffering of aliens at the border crossing. One forum participant was so stirred that he made a ridiculous and irrational statement, agreed to by most of the others in the meeting: "My government is killing people trying to come into this country to work. We need to eliminate the quota system." Just open the floodgates and soak up the surplus people from Mexico and South America?

A lot of the blame for the problem lies with willing employers who want to take advantage of alien workers by paying low wages. Contractors of all stripe, lodgers, restaurateurs -- you name them -- all with the motive of profiting from cheap labor. And how many employers verify the documentation of aliens applying for jobs? Most could not care less.

It is curious and suspicious that for some time, the Steamboat Springs City Council has been promoting "diversification." It has, twice in the past few months, invited officials from the Mexican Consulate in Denver to visit Steamboat. Was this to help steer aliens to our community? If so, I wonder at the value of the oath they took when elected -- to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the land. One also has to wonder what instructions they have issued to police when undocumented aliens are encountered. Just ignore them, one suspects.

European countries are now in deep, deep social trouble because they allowed foreign workers in droves into their countries. Britain, France and Germany now are reaping the bitter fruit of too much population diversity. It appears that we do not learn from the mistakes of other countries.

We in the United States are well down the same slippery slope. Our politicians are more interested in making dramatic orations in front of C-span cameras than they are in doing anything substantive about the invasion of the illegal aliens into our country.

I am amenable to a well- regulated foreign-worker policy, as long as it does not take jobs from citizens. Something like the Bracero program of the past, in which the worker crosses legally, works for a specified time and then goes back to his or her country.

I hope others who are upset with the open support of illegals by their ethnic advocates and by those who would profit from taking advantage of them will speak out. This matter needs a good airing, despite the Our View opinion that we should just roll over and provide medical care, education and protection by the police. Let the editor know how you feel.

Omar M. Campbell

Steamboat Springs

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