Letter: Humane policies needed

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 25, 2007

The quotations attributed to Rowan County Commissioner Jim Sides in the recent Salisbury Post article concerning his visit to the state of Guanajuato, Mexico, seem to accurately summarize an unfortunate, but prevailing, position on Latino immigration. The quotations suggest that Commissioner Sides benefits from his business dealings with Latinos. However, he appears to be quick to defend his relationship with Latino immigrants to his far-right constituents by stating that he would not do business with Latinos if not required by law and that he does not “buy into diversity.”

Commissioner Sides would apparently use the specter of suspected illegal immigration status as justification for not providing government social services and to justify open discrimination toward the entire Latino community as effectively as our past Republican- controlled United States Congress. Knowing that the United States economy depends on Latino immigrant labor, yet afraid of the response from the far-right, the Congress refused to develop an effective immigration policy. The Congress was more than happy to have Latino immigrant labor support the food processing, agriculture, construction and other industries, but allowed the opportunity to develop and implement a meaningful immigration policy to be derailed by a vocal anti-immigration, anti-Latino faction.

An effective and humane policy on Latino immigration is required. However, the absence of such a policy is no excuse for discrimination or withholding basic human needs for those in need.

— Reggie Dailey