Sen. Jimmy Jeffress writes that he remains "appalled at the level of vitriol" aimed at Hispanic people in Arkansas. He says this in passing along a letter sent to legislators by e-mail yesterday. I've put it on the jump. If nothing else, it illustrates that the recent Republican dog-and-pony show on immigrant "costs" served the intended purpose of misleading people into overlooking the enormous benefits of the new population that far outweigh costs.
UPDATE: I've also added Jeffress' response to the letter writer.
LETTER TO LEGISLATORS
I've just read in today's paper an article about the costs imposed on Arkansas taxpayers due to the influx of Hispanics into the state. I want you to know that I am appalled that I am being forced to pay for services for people I do not even want to be living and/or working in our state, many of whom are here illegally. For many of us, taxes are a burden already and services to needy natural born Americans are getting harder to come by. I live on a fixed income and with costs for everything rising, I
cannot imagine how I will cope if I am asked to pay more in taxes, both state and federal.
I keep hearing we need the cheap labor of Hispanics to keep costs down, yet costs are rising so that I find myself doing without some things. I don't mind sacrificing to employ natural born American workers, but it challenges my faith in my government when I am forced to make sacrifices for foreigners. Americans and our government are supposed to be caring people, but it appears to me that we don't care very much for our own workers; otherwise they'd be paid a living wage thus eliminating the need for cheap labor.
In addition to the above mentioned injustices, let me tell you a story about something that happened to me two weeks ago in Wal-Mart. I was on a main aisle heading for the produce dept. Walking toward me were two Hispanic teenage boys, side by side taking up over half the aisle and smirking smugly. One was wearing a black T-shirt. Emblazoned on the front of his shirt was this message: You Can't Deport All of Us. I was shocked at the audacity and the in your face rudeness of this; those boys
noticed my shock and started laughing. A few minutes later as I navigated another of the main aisles, I spotted the same boys coming towards me again. They were determined to stare me in the eyes, still smirking and strutting. I'm guessing they were walking the main aisles trying to be seen and hoping to shock and insult other shoppers. This may not be against the law, but this kind of behavior is morally wrong and is meant to agitate. I felt angry, insulted and intimidated, and I blame my government for this because these people are protected and encouraged to think they can do as they please and are blessed by our government when they do.
I'm asking you to do something to stop these people from coming here - there are too many here already. I'm asking you to send illegal aliens back home. I'm asking you to see that employers who hire illegals are punished. I'm asking you to stop spending my money to subsidize these people. I'm asking you to see that natural born Americans are given jobs
at wages they can actually live on so that they won't need welfare just to exist. I'm asking you to see to it that Hispanics, who are heavy breeders, won't own the majority of the vote in 20 - 30 years, thus owning the country.
I doubt if you'd be very happy to pay the MUCH higher prices for food at Wal-Mart (and other grocers)...produce, milk, etc. if it was being produced by workers that were paid what you call a "living wage." Such statements as what you made in your original e-mail to us is not much of a concealment of one's bigotry. If you are not a prejudiced person, those types of statement certainly serve to make people think you are.
Blacks in our society have now been replaced by Hispanics as a target for folks to rail against as an outlet to their prejudices. In other words, since it is no longer politically correct to say such nasty things about blacks ("they are 'heavy breeders,' 'so they won't need welfare to exist,'" etc., etc. ad nauseum), this vitriol is now directed toward the Hispanic population.
Sorry, but I call it as I see it.