By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
On one hand, people tossing around terms like "Immigration Roulette" ("Go On, Just Shoot 'Em," The Bird, April 13), "disrespectful wetback bastards" ("An Admirer of Mayor Phil's," Letters, Jon Krieger, April 13) and "open fire on them!" ("Take Your Best Shot, Oswald," Letters, Bill Mathis, April 13) is inexcusable, and exhibits a lynch-like inhumanity.
It's such hate speech that has caused every instance of oppression and genocide yet endured. Mr. Krieger, Mr. Mathis and Mr. Brian James (the KFYI talk show host who made the statement "Immigration Roulette," and went on to say that illegals should be shot coming across the border) should just be glad that all Native Americans didn't take a similar stance with the Pilgrims (they made the initial mistake of trusting and accepting us white folks instead).
But on the other hand, a stance that is the polar opposite of this -- that illegal immigrants should not only be allowed to enter the United States freely, but should have immediate rights with no regard as to the process of attaining them -- is simply ungrounded, too.
It must be tempting to be stalwart against such vehement resistance, but there is just no way that Arizona, New Mexico and Southern California can support the entire country of Mexico.
Immigration has to be legislated in some form. But it's important to realize that legislation with malice never turns out pretty. Look, I've done missionary work in Mexico, and saying that things are hard for people in Mexico doesn't even begin to sum it up.
Mexicans aren't trying to terrorize our pristine white paradise or ravage our white women or whatever the fuck the border zealots think their intentions are. The vast majority just want a life without avarice. The punishment for proverbially stealing bread to feed your children shouldn't be overly harsh.
Some sort of compromise must be reached; hopefully one less convoluted and bureaucratic than the latest bill in Congress, but sometimes when both sides are unwilling to budge, that is unfortunately the best that our bipartisan democracy can do.
Tye Rabens, Phoenix
No comparison: I can't believe how ignorant people are when it comes to the history of this country.
I'm so appalled by Natasha Sims' letter concerning immigration ("George Wallace Imitators," April 13). How dare she compare the history of the African-American equal-rights movement to the current immigration-rights movement!
Africans were brought over in chains by force. Many of their descendants made contributions and sacrifices to this country. In the 1950s and 1960s, the black community strove for equality, and rightly so. The illegal immigrants we have today have not earned the right to demand anything.
Ms. Sims needs to get her history straight. The black people who demanded equal rights were born in this country and were already American citizens. They won their rights through protests and through the court system. Sure, some got the wrong idea and became violent, but that did not affect the outcome for them.
I'm very tired of everyone who opposes illegal immigrants being labeled as racist. I'm from the Deep South, and I don't think Ms. Sims has any idea of what a racist really is. Comparing County Attorney Andrew Thomas to former Alabama governor George Wallace is entirely misguided. Mr. Thomas is only upholding the law. After all, isn't that his job?
Jean Sipes, Mesa
The new Alabama: I've been reading the many letters about the immigration debate in New Times, and I can't help but feel that Arizona is the new Alabama. Racism in all forms is still racism. You would think that we as a nation would've grown out of our immature past, but far from it -- we have become worse.
The immigrant bashers I see polluting the airwaves and print media with their hate remind me of Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber. While some of these bashers cloak what they say in 9/11 and claim they are fighting terrorism with their views, the truth is far from it. I get the feeling that they are just the kind of extremists that McVeigh was.
They forget that America is still a wonderful melting pot of all races. America would not be where it is without you and me. Racism, bigotry and hate are America's biggest threats. People who practice such traits are the realterrorists.
M. Villalobos, via the Internet
Let's all hold hands and sing "Kum Ba Yah": If you take the macroscopic view, all of the so-called illegal immigrants are American! There is North, South and Central America! A person from Mexico is of the Americas, the same as a person from Iowa or Texas.
The true issue is how to deal with what already is a reality in a way that encourages peace, safety, respect and economic viability for every American.
Carolyn Holleman, Scottsdale
And don't you forget it, whitey!: This is in reference to the letter under the heading "An Admirer of Mayor Phil's" by Jon Krieger in your April 13 edition. Call us beaners, taco benders, wetbacks or greasers, but don't refer to us as spics. Mr. Krieger, that racial slur is reserved for Puerto Ricans, you dumb-ass cracker!
David Sanchez, Avondale