Use common sense

Editor, Gettysburg Times,

Regarding Dan Siderio’s letter to the editor in today’s Gettysburg Times (July 3, 2019), I would like point out that there is not a person on the face of the earth who did not experience deep sadness at seeing the photo of Oscar Ramirez and his toddler daughter lying on the banks of the Rio Grande River dead after drowning as they tried to cross the US/Mexican border. How do we prevent such tragedies from happening in the future? Allow everyone to enter the US unrestricted and unfettered by pesky border patrol agents so they don’t have to sneak in?

When I read stories of our citizens and lawmakers expressing sympathy and extending open arms to all those who want to come into this country, I wonder if there is any number they would put forth as a limit. Should we allow a million immigrants a year? Two million? Twenty million?

Contrary to what Mr. Siderio implies, there have always been restrictions on immigration into this country, or at least from the 1700’s on. In the early 1900’s, people were turned away from Ellis Island (deported) because they could not pass mandated physical and mental exams. Later, potential immigrants were screened for undesirable political ties, illiteracy, or poor moral character. Let’s not glamorize our country’s immigration policies of the past and pretend that anyone and everyone was welcomed at our shores. Back in the day, immigration policy was based on common sense, not on whether we “felt bad” for those who just wanted a better life. People everywhere want a better life, and most know that they can find it in the United States. It’s a fact. Many people would love to live in my safe and comfortable house, but I have a right to restrict people from coming in.

I am getting very, very tired of Trump and all conservatives being blamed for a lack of compassion and empathy for the poor and the marginalized. We are just trying to give common sense a chance. Totally open borders will result in the United States, the leader of the free world and a shining example for others, becoming itself a third world country.

Helen Hornbake,


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