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January 11, 2008

Letter: Editorial’s immigration, bird poop analogy needs some work

<i>Originally published in the December 28, 2007, print edition.</i>

To the Editor:

In reply to Land staff writer Dick Hagen’s Dec. 7 “Land Minds” column: Oh, if only aliens (do you mean immigrants?) could be equated with birds, how simple the world would be.

Why are there people — birds, if you will — asking for help? Disturbing our peace of mind when we thought we could keep everything for ourselves and not worry about the future, it is really quite thoughtless of those immigrants.

Do we share no guilt in this problem? Have we no knowledge of simple history as to why people immigrate?

It may have been war or it may have been greed. Greed brought the European explorers to the western hemisphere, causing the uprooting of native populations to move and become immigrants.

Wars in Europe and Asia left people running for their lives. It is hard to stop and raise your own bird feed when you and your family is being killed.

Maybe Hagen, and those who think like he does, should stop and find out how and why your grandparents came to America. One of my ancestors came to Philadelphia from Germany in 1758. He wanted his own piece of land and religious freedom. Ben Franklin did not want the Germans coming — he thought them no-good birds — until he saw they were good farmers and excellent gunsmiths.

What do you suppose the native Americans thought, and think, about those aliens?

The issue of immigration is very complicated, and comparing it to putting out bird feed and getting too much bird poop is like saying the solution to car accidents is to take all cars off the road.

Hagen said “perhaps it is not Christian to share such thoughts.” It is good to get our thoughts and feelings out where they can be talked about, but to equate human needs to bird feed and poop does need some more thought.

Doris Strohl Berger

Janesville

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