Opinion: Legal vs. illegal immigration in America | SierraSun.com

Opinion: Legal vs. illegal immigration in America

My letter is written in answer to the December 9 Sierra Sun letter, “Racism in America, and at Lake Tahoe, needs to stop,” in which an immigrant was defined as “a person who comes to live permanently in a foreign country.” One important word, legally, was left out of her description.

My grandparents were legal immigrants to America. They came here for a better life for themselves and their children. They followed the immigration laws of America; they applied for permission to immigrate.

As part of the process, my grandfather had to show he had the means to support his family; that there was someone willing to provide financial help if necessary. He said why he wanted to immigrate, and that his family would not become a burden on American society. No welfare, no Social Security unless it had been earned.

My grandparents had to show they were healthy before coming. Once here they had to pass a medical exam to show they were still healthy. This protects everyone, and helps in the fight against diseases. Like all other waves of nationalities before them, my grandparents and their children experienced the difficulties of living within another culture; the struggle to be assimilated into that culture without totally losing their own

I live in the small city of Portola, where there are a large number of “immigrants” from Mexico. Most are “legal immigrants” here for a better education and life for their children, following the process to become American citizens. Mexico has an immigration policy as in America and all countries.

No matter the country a legal immigrant comes from, he and his are welcome. No matter what country an illegal “immigrant” comes from, he and his have still broken laws and are fugitives from justice.

Leslie Furnas

Portola