When I hear the news about Donald Trump’s plans to deport so many Latin American people who have been living and working here for so many years, I get very sad. It all seems so mean spirited. The ideal that we hold to love our neighbors seems to be contradicted by these plans. We are separating families from each other, throwing mothers and children into prisons. The poem on the Statue of Liberty is forgotten.

But more than that, it also poses potential problems for all of us. It’s interesting to look at the labels on our supermarket food to find out where it comes from. A lot of it comes from across the border. Trump says that if Mexico won’t pay to build his ill-conceived, over-priced wall, that he will impose tariffs on Mexican goods. That means that the price of all that food that comes across the border will skyrocket.

You might think that you’ll only buy food that is grown here in the U.S. Who do you think picks all those vegetables? If “illegals” were given secure jobs and paid a living wage, that would also jack up the price of our food but it might also make those jobs more attractive to U.S. citizens. (P.S., if you really want to keep illegal immigrants out, just arrest the people who are hiring them.)

Then there’s the question of false identification. People have been using false Social Security numbers. Those people are paying into the system, but they’re getting no benefits back. Our Social Security has been partly propped up by these one-way payments.

For so many years, our politicians have been ramping up our fears of “illegals.” They’ve either been lying to themselves or to all of us. Much of our economy is based on the use of the labor of these people. Without them, we will crash.

Abby Shahn


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