Lauricella, Conservatives unfairly scapegoat immigrants

Posted 4 July 2018 at 7:26 am


Usually, Paul Lauricella’s ultra-conservative points of view don’t bother me. However, his recent letter of July 2 crosses the line of accuracy and morality. To believe him is to assume all immigrants, undocumented or not, are living high on the hog, milking all kinds of public services at taxpayer expense. As we have learned to do with our current “president,” let us fact-check Mr. Lauricella.

My grandparents didn’t come here from Italy believing the “streets were paved with gold”, as he said. They were ready to work, despite the hardships and privations of being in a strange county and not knowing the language. And work hard they did. My grandmother kept the house and cared for the children so my grandfather could work the stone quarries, build the buildings and pave the streets with sandstone.

Regardless of what people like Mr. Lauricellla and Fox News say, there are very few taxpayer services immigrants can qualify for. Since the 1980’s, less than one percent of Medicaid goes to screening and stabilizing emergency patients regardless of citizenship status. Let me restate that; a minuscule amount of money is spent on the emergency health needs of immigrants. Who among us, besides Mr. Lauricella and Mr. Trump would turn away very sick children? This is not prenatal care or other vital treatment services. Immigrants don’t qualify for that. In this country, we don’t advocate neglecting hungry children or their education. Therefore, Congress has allocated funds for school nutrition programs, WIC nutrition, and Head Start. Mr. Collins, are you listening? Do you care?

And Mr. Lauricella, undocumented immigrants cannot vote. Undocumented immigrants are not eligible to receive Social Security benefits, even though many contribute to the system.

Democrats are not “the enemy, trying to take down America.” Mr. Lauricella sees “leftists and socialists in every nook and cranny, even heads of religious institutions.” We have heard this kind of talk before. Read your history of Nazi Germany and the McCarthy era in 1950’s America. Cynicism designed to divide our country and scapegoat the helpless.

I don’t know any of Mr. Lauricella’s “leftists, communists and socialists.” But I do know the difference between Democrats and Conservatives. The former is the party of “US.” The latter is the party of “ME.”

Lies and paranoia will not serve our country well. Christian values of charity, mercy and benevolence will. When you see an immigrant child and their hard working parents, ask yourself a question that Charles Dickens asked; “Are they not of the human race?”

Al Capurso