U.S. is a nation of immigrants
I would like to reply to Gene Jakubik’s letter of Dec. 2, 2018. Mr. Jakubik questions the motives of migrants coming to this country. Mr. Jakubik considers the statement that the migrants are coming for a better life “a line of crap,” but does not provide an alternative motive. Over the years, I have met many people who have come to this country, often at great risk to their own lives, and without exception it has been for a better life. Usually, it is for a better life for their children. They bring the flags, culture and memories of their countries because they love their countries, just as Americans love the United States. They only leave those countries when life becomes untenable, whether through famine, war or other violence, and they seek a better, safer place to live and work.
Mr. Jakubik also takes issue with the money the United States pays to the United Nations. The $8 billion figure he uses represents the total amount spent on peacekeeping efforts last year. Our share of that was a little over $2 billion. All told, our share of all U.N. expenses is a little over $3 billion a year — not $8 billion. Surely it is better to share the expense and responsibility than to try to do it all ourselves? The United Nations is not perfect, but it is an attempt at international diplomacy and cooperation.
The United States has long been a country of “borders and laws,” to use Mr. Jakubik’s terms, but we are also a nation of immigrants. Most of us are the descendants of those who came here seeking a better life for themselves and their children. Let us not forget the inscription on the Statue of Liberty and continue to welcome the tired and the poor. Immigrants contribute both culturally and economically to our nation. I do not advocate eliminating either the borders or the laws, but hope we can continue to provide asylum and a better life to those whose lives are at risk in their own country and who do not pose a threat to ours.
Carol W. Sedgwick