Senator Charles Schumer, 322 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
Re: Strong Opposition to “Gang of Eight,” Their Amnesty Plan, and Their Disregard of Common Sense
Dear Senator Schumer:
I am writing to express, in the strongest way possible, my opposition to the terribly conceived amnesty proposed by you and your “Gang of Eight” – a term reminiscent of course of Communist China under Mao. Why you think it’s cute or smart to use such terminology defies me. In any event this amnesty makes a mockery of existing American law, teaches the world that American laws have no real meaning, that non-citizen lawbreakers are given privileges and “rights,” and should it be enacted this Amnesty undoubtedly will help undermine the American economy, our American culture and traditions, while creating social chaos the likes of wish none of you can begin to predict.
I think my own personal background gives me some authority to speak on this issue, since I am one of those vaunted “Hispanics” whose various whims seem to be running the country these days. Specifically I am of Mexican-American background, the grandson of four legal immigrants who loved this country and lived their lives here in great gratitude for the opportunities this wonderful country afforded – opportunities which your law ironically and tragically will inevitably undermine. Yes your Amnesty law will help undermine the very reasons why those like my grandparents so earnestly wished to come, and contribute, to this country.
I am an Ivy League educated physician (Brown undergrad, Columbia postgraduate, Cornell Medical College). My father, though born here, came from an unusual family of Mexican classical musicians. His paternal grandfather, my great grandfather, was a minor composer in Mexico. He raised his seven children to be, all of them, even the girls, expert classical musicians. My grandfather Guillermo was a cellist, considered the finest cellist who would ever come out of Mexico, and his brother Gustavo was the country’s premier violinist in his day. Their brother Pepe was a flutist, their sister Eva, a superb classical pianist (who would put her career aside to raise children). My cousin Juan Jose Calatayud, who died tragically in 2005, was considered Mexico’s finest pianist and premier jazz musician, considered a cultural icon at the time of his premature death due to cancer.
As a young intellectual, my grandfather supported President Francisco Madero, who had overthrown the brutal dictator Portfirio Diaz in 1910, and established in Mexico a democracy along the lines of what we have here in the US. Madero handpicked my grandfather and his brother to play in the famed Beethoven Quartet sponsored by the democratic government and led by Julian Carillo, at the time Mexico’s pre-eminent classical composer. When tyrannical forces in the military assassinated Madero and installed a military dictatorship in 1913, my grandfather could have fled the country, gone anywhere, and easily continued his career as an esteemed cellist. Instead, he retreated into the mountains along with many of the country’s leading intellectuals, to organize a counter revolution against the military, under the direction of General Vesustiano Carranza.
My grandfather, a major in the revolutionary forces, fought bravely, and for a time his group were able to re-establish a democratic government. But when that effort collapsed, my grandfather, with a price on his head, was forced to flee the country with his young wife, a classical singer from an eminent Mexican family. They ended up, as have so many other grateful immigrants before them, in the US as political refugees. Here, in the US my grandfather quickly re-established his career in his new home, playing with a variety of orchestras, including the NBC Orchestra under Arturo Toscanini, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and the National Symphony in Washington.
My family over the generations has continued to be active not only in the arts, but in Mexican politics. My father’s cousin in Mexico, Mario Cordero, was Undersecretary of the Treasury before becoming a high ranking judge. He was killed by Mexico drug criminals. His son has been director of the Mexican mint, and the family in Mexico continues to this day to fight, what they believe finally is a losing fight, for a country of law, order, justice, and stability.
My father was trained as a French horn player, though his career was interrupted by World War II in which he served honorably, in India. He never once regretted the four years of his life lost, his career interrupted, by the call to duty by this country he loved so dearly. My family has a history of proud service in this Nation’s military, with my uncle having served in France and Germany in WWII, and with three of my mother’s cousins having fought at the Battle of the Bulge.
My paternal grandparents appreciated that unlike Mexico, America was a country of just and righteous laws, protected by our Constitution and enacted for the benefit of its citizens, for their welfare, their happiness, and their well being. This was in far contrast to the lawlessness that has long governed Mexico, where contempt for the law reigns supreme and explains the descent into chaos so evident in that country today.
My grandfather, and my father in turn, instilled in my a love for this country which had given them so much, a respect for its laws, a respect for the opportunity available here, for the freedom known nowhere else in the world, the freedom to live one’s life as one wished, without the oppressive hand of government, interfering at every turn.
I consider myself an American, not a “Mexican-American,” I am proud of this country and absolutely dismayed by the actions of our current batch of elitist politicians, who seem to have forgotten completely what their role is meant to be. Your have not been elected to provide rights, privileges, and advantages to lawbreakers, to the citizens of other countries, to the poor of the world, to the oppressed of the world, to the hungry of the world, you have been elected to protect the rights, privileges, and advantages guaranteed by our Constitution to the citizens of America and no one else. As a physician and scientist who has devoted his life to unraveling the horrific mystery of cancer in my patients, I don’t have to defend my “compassion.” My life speaks for that. But when I read of this new Amnesty Immigration law you have put together, I am astonished that you all seem to think that native born Americans like me, whose family has worked hard, served through generations in the military, respected our country’s laws, revered its history, studied its Founding Fathers, their principles of individual liberty, personal responsibility, and individual dignity, are the real problem and the real obstacle to all higher moral achievement on earth.
It seems, among the elites in Washington, to be a sign of moral weakness, intellectual incompetence, and fundamental “meanness” to want to maintain the rights, privileges, and advantages guaranteed to its citizens through its Constitution.
Your bill is catastrophic, will allow for catastrophic changes in our culture, our way of life, our educational system, our health care, our very economic security,.
We already allow one million legal immigrants into this country yearly, ever since immigration law changed during the 1960s’ I know of no other country in the history of the world that allowed this many immigrants legally to enter yearly, and I have studied this issue at length. I know of no study, no scientifically acceptable evaluation that can predict the long-term affect of such ongoing immigration on this scale. You do not know the effects, your staffs will not be able to provide me documentation on the effects, yet apparently one million a year isn’t enough. Without a second thought you now want to increase the legal immigration to some two million a year, as well as legalize 10-20 million illegal immigrants. What are the consequences? You don’t know, and don’t seem to care. Well I do care.
Let me ask some basic questions. For a start, what will be the specific consequences ecologically speaking of such massive immigration, since you, and your colleagues, repeatedly harangue us about your concern for the “environment.” What will be the environmental consequences of two million new citizens a year, in terms of land lost, endless urban sprawl to house these newcomers, demands on agriculture because they will have to be fed, deterioration of soil that will follow, the production of waste and pollution? Do you know the effects that will follow in this regard? Does anyone know? Two million a year means a city the size of New York will be created every four years. As a scientist who has studied ecologic modeling as well as medicine the environmental consequences will be enormous, over time inevitably catastrophic, and perhaps irreversible.
What will be the consequences in terms of our educational system? Do you know, do any of the “Gang of Eight,” or their various staffs know? Are we so overburdened with great teachers and exemplary schools with extra unused chairs and classrooms that we need to import millions of new immigrants, and their children, to fill unfilled seats and unused classrooms and keep our underworked brilliant creative teachers busy?
Quite the contrary. In fact our public school system, despite tens of billions of government funding over the past decades, is in a state of near collapse, with often overworked and often incompetent teachers at the head of disrespectful and indifferent students, in overfilled and in urban areas, often decaying schools. So, with this in mind, who is going to teach, properly, the children of these two million new legal immigrants a year and the children of the 11-20 million illegals who will be legalized?. Are you, or John McCain, or Lindsay Graham going to quit your elitist jobs, and with your wives go teach English to the newly minted American citizen children of M13 illegal immigrant drug dealers in inner city Los Angeles? I don’t think so. But where are the teachers, the competent, dedicated teachers we will need to deal with the extraordinary influx of children, going to come from? The fact is, they don’t exist.
As a physician, be assured, with endless government interference, our once lauded and envied health care is already facing gradual disintegration, under an avalanche of rules and regulations that stifle the creativity and imagination and independent thinking that elevated our medical and medical research system to a level never before seen. Remember, when dictators became sick, they often came here, or financed teams of US doctors to travel to them for their treatment (Gorbachev whose wife had leukemia, and Yeltsin from the old Soviet Union, for example).
Now you propose to allow two million new immigrants and their children into the country yearly, and legalize another 11-20 million illegals. Presumably like any other group of human beings, there will be sickness among them, some minor illness, some catastrophic, that together will place unknown strains on an already strained medical system. Already, illegals are stretching the capabilities of hospitals along the Southern Border, to the point of collapse. What is happening there, will, under your new immigration plan should it be enacted, begin to happen everywhere else in this country. We don’t have the doctors now to take care of, adequately, the American citizens already living in the country. With the strain of two million new citizens and 11-20 million new legalized illegals, the effect will be catastrophic, to the point I believe our medical system will never recover.
And what will be the effect on our culture, our culture that like our land, our schools, and our health care system has been the envy of the world? Do you know? Do you even care? You elitists in Washington seem to think that those of us outside of the Beltway, who don’t live the protected lavish limousine lifestyle of Washington government bureaucrats are contemptible, as well as morally and intellectually inferior for thinking that traditional American culture, yes the culture freedom, of liberty, of baseball, of July 4th parades, of George Patten, of church and synagogue, and “It’s A Wonderful Life” are something to be cherished. It is an astonishing turn of events in my lifetime to see our leaders behave as if American tradition and culture, nurtured by the very freedom and liberty guaranteed by our extraordinary Constitution, are the real problem, something to be held in contempt, something that hardly needs to be protected. Ironically it is this very American culture, these traditions of our great country, that drawing the tens of millions here. Irony of ironies, the very reason these people come here, you in positions of such power, hold in contempt.
As you of course know, prior to the change in immigration law in the 1960s, the great majority of immigrants came from Western Europe, with a somewhat shared culture and a shared religious foundation. The purpose of immigration was prior to that time, as it was for my four grandparents, to become a part and parcel of this great American adventure, to integrate, assimiliate, to speak its language, to learn its tradition, to respect its laws, to enjoy its freedoms, cherish its opportunities, and ultimately to become, fully “American.” And at the forefront, in the thinking of my grandparents, was the chance to work. They expected nor wanted nothing for free, ever.
None of that is true anymore, thanks to you in Washington. You allow in millions from countries with no commonality of tradition, or culture, or religion. You consider such quaint concepts of assimilation and integration as antiquated and fanciful holdovers from a different, less “progressive era,” no, we are supposed to “respect” and “honor” all cultures, that is, all cultures but our own. We are in fact to “pity” illegal immigrants portrayed as “victims,” who need to be given their “rights” and privileges, as well as welfare, and free medical care, and so on. And in turn, I see a trend, a terrible trend, in my lifetime, where immigrants come here both legal and illegal often without interest in, or concern for our traditions or our culture, but often with contempt for such, and with a new dedicated purpose, to get as much “welfare” and food stamps and subsidized living as possible, these new “rights,” these handouts my grandparents would have rejected and thought destructive of individual, and societal character.
I walk down the streets of Manhattan and at times hear little English. I have visited my old neighborhood in Queens where I grew up, and I hear no English, even the signs are in foreign languages. I feel like a stranger in my own country, all to please some elitist ideal of “multiculturism.” I’ve paid my dues, my family has paid their dues, I spend my life trying to keep very sick cancer patients from dying. I have a right not to be a stranger in my own country.
The recent horror in Boston, I am sure to the discomfort of the “Gang of Eight,” of course exemplifies everything that is wrong with our open borders, “everyone is welcome,” “all cultures are better than ours” attitude toward immigration. Why in the name of heaven was this extended family allowed into our country, coming as they did from a hotbead of terrorist activity and training? Why were they allowed in, then given, as I have come to understand, various government handouts, ranging from subsidized housing to other welfare benefits? And what was the end result, murder of an eight year old American, contempt for us and everything we stand for even among a number of surviving family members who have benefitted from our largess. Please tell me, why was my tax money spent supporting this family of ingrates, who appear, including the father, the aunt, and the sister, to feel nothing but disgust for the US? What are you people in Washington thinking? Or do you think at all, one wonders?
The argument I read, that somehow legalizing illegals and allowing for excessive new immigration will “stimulate the economy” – a fantasy expressed by no less an esteemed outlet than the Wall Street Journal – is nonsense, as the experiment of history has already proven. For in fact we in this country have experienced excessive legal immigration now for over 40 years, we have experienced continued excessive illegal immigration for decades, and the economy is in the process of rather rapid collapse. That experiment of massive immigration and the economy has already been tried, and has failed. The high rates of immigration, the amnesty to illegals in 1987 and the implicit amnesty that goes on today has not caused a booming economy, but has contributed for many reasons, to the economic distress we currently are witnessing. After all, over 100,000 illegal immigrants defaulted on government housing loans, contributing to the collapse of the housing market and the economic decline that followed in its wake. Mass immigration, legal and illegal, certainly hasn’t been the solution to our economy, our economy is not flying high because of it, and future endless immigration will not be the answer to a flagging failing economy.
The recent events in Boston show me indeed, we need immigration reform, but in exactly the opposite direction than what you and your friends propose. We need tight borders, strong penalties for illegal immigration, an end to welfare for immigrants that only draws more immigrants intent on receiving welfare, an end to immigration from countries that hate us, that are awash in terror, terrorist training, and ideologies that are antithetical to our way of life.
During World War II, any politician who thought it was “compassionate” to allow German and Italian and Japanese nationals into the country would have been locked up in the back ward of a mental hospital. Yet today, politically correct blindness afflicts politicians on both sides of the aisle, preventing them from seeing what is obvious to the most humble of us mere citizens walking the streets of this land. If they hate us, kept them out, it isn’t that complicated.
New Zealand, a successful democracy of the first order, has extraordinarily strict immigration policies. They encourage all to visit their beautiful and pristine land, but allow few to stay. I have been told by a patient of mine who lives there that a prospective immigrant must have a million dollar cash account in escrow, a useful profession valuable to New Zealand, and even then citizen status is not guaranteed. I hear no one in DC calling New Zealand, a wonderfully stable country, “racist,” or morally backward for such policies. Perhaps we should follow New Zealand’s lead, perhaps our elected officials need to undergo retraining and reprogramming, and learn the lesson New Zealand politicians seem to understand so well, that the government of the people by the people and for the people exists to protect the rights of its citizens, not the rights of everyone else to the detriment of those citizens.
I am appalled by the Amnesty legislation your are proposing, appalled that in this country you disregard existing law, pander to lawbreakers, and ignore common sense as well as past history.
Nicholas J. Gonzalez, M.D.