Re: April 3 letter: “Will country survive flood of immigrants?

The actual letter is far worse than its title. The letter refers to a “tidal wave of illegal immigrants.” The term “illegal immigrants” is a pernicious, mean-spirited characterization.

Moreover, the letter attempts to portray a gentle surge as a tsunami. Most undocumented residents arrived in the U.S. because NAFTA devastated their earning capacities at home. The work they’re doing is work that most U.S.-born residents refuse to do. Like fresh vegetables and fruit? Thank an immigrant for picking them. And the beef, chicken, pork or fish you’ll be supping on tonight? Same thing. Immigrants work in meat processing factories, too.

There is dignity in all work, and folks who migrate to the U.S. to do it bring a working-class dignity with them. Stop scapegoating them. Wanting to work should not be a crime.

Richard Austin

Mount Vernon

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