Follow us:

Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

August 14, 2014 at 6:08 AM

Immigration: Time to repay debt for generational policy failures

Thanks for publishing Kay Hubbard’s guest column on the history of U.S. policies and their contribution to the present influx of thousands of children seeking refuge from the violence of their home countries ["How U.S. foreign policy in Central America created the child border crisis," Opinion, Aug. 12].  We owe these children safety, not only because it is morally wrong to reject them, but as one of the few ways that we can pay the debt for what we did to their grandparents and parents.

After the crash of 1929, we went through another nationwide anti-immigrant hysteria. Immigrants were perceived as “stealing our jobs” and depriving “us” of our livelihoods. We reacted with a vengeance. Between 1929 and 1944, we expelled (“repatriated”) more than 2 million people of Mexican descent back to Mexico. Of these more than 2 million deportees, 1.2 million had been born in the United States. In California alone, approximately 400,000 U.S. citizens and legal residents were forced to repatriate to a country many had never even seen.

As Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel said about other shameful events, “We are not all guilty, but we are all responsible.”  We cannot undo the damage we have caused, but we can stop perpetuating and repeating that damage.

Thalia Syracopoulos, Seattle

Comments | More in Immigration | Topics: foreign policy, immigration, Mexico

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►