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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

July 18, 2013 at 6:21 AM

Life of a spouse of an H-1B visa worker

Immigrant is lucky not to have Social Security number

I nearly fell off my seat upon reading Dakshina Thekkekalathil’s guest column. [“Trapped as the spouse of an H-1B visa worker,” Opinion, July 15.]

Among her notions that floored me, an American citizen, is her belief that her worth and legal identity depended on having a Social Security number. Are you kidding me?

I hardly know where to start except to say I am deeply embarrassed as a United States citizen that foreigners think they need a Social Security number to have dignity. This, of course, is the goal of a central government jealous of the power and freedom its own citizens.

My assurance to Thekkekalathil is that she should be so lucky that she doesn’t have a dignity-stealing, soul-sapping number to take the place of her good name. As a citizen, I envy her dignity.

Among my most deeply held civic dreams is an end to this degradation that is miscalled Social Security. As it stands, it’s a wicked scheme that seeks to cheapen the citizen’s dignity and make the citizen more dependent on the federal government.

The second notion that nearly floored me is her suggestion that volunteering be made compulsory. Unpaid, forced labor? Nuts!

My point of view is that charity is what delivers us from the federal blob. Volunteers are free, dignified, and powerful — and a threat to those who think an all-present central government is the only way to bring about a strong civic life.

John Peeples, Seattle

Comments | Topics: citizenship, immigrant, labor


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