Would like to come back, but can't: My wife and I visited Arizona in 2006. We enjoyed it. We'd like to return.
My wife is a Spanish national with a green card who, of course, speaks Spanish as her first language. The worldwide Spanish-language media is reporting that the people in Arizona are [all but] lynching anyone who speaks Spanish, whether they have a green card or not, no matter their skin color or citizenship status. My wife is asking me when Arizona is going to start installing gas chambers for Hispanics, like what the Nazis had. My father was of the World War II generation, which fought to get rid of this kind of evil. He was a war veteran. Why are U.S. citizens being "lynched"? Why is anyone being "lynched"?
The Immigration and Naturalization Service is horrible to deal with. I got my wife's green card three years after it should have been issued, only because an aide to my U.S. representative raked them over the coals multiple times. Starting in 2001, those people [haven't done] their jobs. So the people who say [undocumented aliens] "should just follow the law" are misrepresenting the situation. They don't know what they are talking about.
Statistically, the percentage of Hispanics who commit crimes is smaller then the general population. They have fewer divorces and more stable families. They have family values and mostly work very hard. Why would we not want such people? Hispanics have fought in the American army since the Revolution, and on both sides of the civil war. The journalist Jorge Ramos compares them to the Irish, in the 1800s; they take the same kind of jobs and are treated similarly.
The DREAM Act should have passed. Two million people trained in American schools could be paying taxes to lower the deficit and pay into Social Security. Even former President George W. Bush's people put out a study noting that the country needs about a million immigrants per year to maintain prosperity.
The vast majority of Hispanics I have known are nice, polite people. Hispanics have contributed greatly to this country and continue to do so. They work hard, in crummy jobs, as a rule. They do not deserve the treatment they are getting. Forty percent of Hispanics marry outside their ethnic group. Many U.S. military personnel are married to Hispanics. Hispanics are a large part of what keeps Social Security afloat.
Granted, the federal government has not handled immigration well. Granted, some undocumented immigrants drive without a driver's license or insurance. A few commit crimes. Yet do we not also find native-borns doing the same thing?
The incredibly disrespectful treatment heaped upon Hispanics erodes America's "brand" overseas — Central and South Americans buy products from countries other then the U.S. when they see this kind of horrible treatment.
The United States has major bases in Spain — in Rota, particularly — and the Spanish population sees reports of the mistreatment of Hispanics, too. Spanish troops support our efforts in Afghanistan. Why are we insulting our allies?
We met some tourists from Mexico, when we were in Arizona in 2006. They were quite wealthy, and they spent a lot of money — at least $3,000 on presents alone. I cannot believe any Mexican citizen now comes to Arizona as a tourist; Arizona is as dangerous for them as the Mexican towns the drug dealers control — if the U.S. Spanish-language media is to be believed, and Hispanics do believe it.
Members of my father's generation gave their blood, and lives, to end Nazi brutality. We don't need to see it in America. What is going on now is an insult to everyone who ever served his country.
Michael Patterson, Granby, Connecticut
JUST A MIRAGE
Town looking for a true leader: I read your article and was very impressed. It really hit close to home for me. I could not help getting a little emotional ("Crossed Paths," Monica Alonzo, February 24).
I grew up in El Mirage, and to this day, I reside there. I cannot help saying it's about time somebody wrote the whole truth [about the Luke Air Force Base situation] without holding back.
My uncle, John Moreno, spoke at a funeral this past Saturday for Guadalupe Flores, who was a dedicated servant and volunteer of El Mirage. He touched on something that is supposedly in the works: a celebration honoring Julio César Chávez.
These are the things that make us all love the people of El Mirage. Hopefully, one day we will have a true leader who can lead El Mirage to a much better and brighter future and who will really understand and stand up for the people.
I do truly appreciate your story. God bless you.
Marlena Ornelas, El Mirage
Luke trumps El Mirage: Luke Air Force Base is a fixture in the West Valley that provides massive economic benefits.
El Mirage is just a little speed trap on Grand Avenue that only hinders further growth in the area. Which would any sane person opt to keep!
James Crocker, city unavailable
Deal with it: I feel no sympathy for the citizens of El Mirage. Who moves someplace without researching what kind of town or city it is?
If you moved there not knowing about LAFB, shame on you for being uneducated. If you moved there knowing about it and complain anyway, shame on you for being a whining idiot.
The base is important and vital, if for no other reason than to give our brave soldiers a place to raise their families. A place where their families can rely and draw strength from others in the same situation when their loved ones are deployed.
Is it noisy? Yes. Does that suck? Yes. But either get over it, deal with it, or move. I'm so tired of the human race, honestly.
James Bates, city unavailable
No reason to bitch: In 1940, [the U.S. government] sent a scout to Arizona to find a spot where the Army Air Corps could provide advanced training to fighter pilots. They set their sights on 1,440 acres several miles west of El Mirage, and the following year opened Litchfield Park Air Base, later renamed Luke Air Force Base.
[El Mirage has] no reason to bitch. The base continued to build for the last 70 years. Come on, those planes were flying over in 1945. Just shut up!
Jimmy Morris, city unavailable
Good for junk: El Mirage is the west side's Guadalupe. A cesspool is a cesspool, regardless. You can get black tar [heroin] cheap, though, so it's advantageous to some.