Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Letters to the Editor

(From the April 6, 2006 edition of the Inland Register)

Regarding Letters to the Editor

The Inland Register welcomes letters to the editor. Letters should be no longer than 500 words. Letters must be signed, with address and phone number for contact, but names will be withheld upon request. Remember to be charitable.

Send letters to:

Inland Register, P.O. Box 48, Spokane, WA 99210-0048
Fax: (509) 358-7302

Teach the truth


While listening to President Bush’s State of the Union address, toward the end, came a moral testimony to preserving the sanctity of unborn life, opposition to legalizing same-sex unions, and outright rejection of embryonic stem cell research. Wow! What a blessing for decadent America to hear this from one of the most powerful men on Earth. The noteworthy aspect is this didn’t come from a cardinal, bishop, or priest, but a Protestant Republican president.

We have some clergy that speak directly to these issues, but too few and far between. Burke (St. Louis), Bruskewitz (Lincoln, Neb.), Olmstead (Phoenix), Vasa (Baker, Ore.), Chaput (Denver), and some others – where are the rest? We used to hear the teaching of the Church from the pulpit on Sunday, along with the readings and Gospel. Now, after two generations of listening to primarily Bible readings and sermons similarly presented, we have, I read, 80 percent of “Catholics” accepting artificial contraception, 60 percent tolerant toward abortion, (others) accept living together before marriage as normal – and the list goes on. When will we hear the unashamed teaching of the Roman Catholic Church from the pulpit? We “own” the truth! Let’s teach it.

Don Heinzen, Spokane

Illegal immigrants need path to legal status


Thank God for the Mexicans. While many in America continue to wring their hands and shout their concern about illegal aliens in America, I say, ‘“You don’t know how lucky you are.” Here are some of the salient facts.

There are currently estimated to be about 11 million illegal aliens in the United States. Virtually every able-bodied illegal alien in America is employed. The overall unemployment rate in the U.S. presently stands at 4.8 percent and has been very low in this country for most of the last 25 years.

If Pat Buchanan or Lou Dobbs or Tom Tancredo could wave a magic wand and return all illegal aliens back to their countries of origin tomorrow, there would be emergency legislation introduced by Congress within one week to return them all and put them back to work.

The fact of the matter is, the American economy needs the Mexican workforce presently here as much as those Mexican workers need us and it’s probably about time the American electorate comes to grips with that.

If you’re looking for who or what’s to blame for the current situation with illegal aliens, most make the facile conclusion that it’s those lawbreaking Mexicans who have no regard for U.S. immigration and employment laws. Others blame those rapacious U.S. employers who have no regard for the law but only care about profits. Still others blame the Mexican government for “exporting their unemployment problem.”

The fact of the matter is, however, the real culprit at the root of this situation is the incredibly dynamic American economy.

Think of all the jobs created in the U.S. in the last 50 years. Before World War II, few women worked outside the home. After the war there were so many new jobs that women joined the workforce in droves. Now in almost every household in America, both spouses work. Add to that the amnesty of 1986. It gave green card status to 3 million illegal aliens (and eventually their wives and kids) who are now part of the workforce.

Then add about 900,000 legal immigrants – both family- and employer-sponsored – per year, who are here and hard at work. Finally, add another 11 million illegal aliens here and working and the unemployment rate in the U.S. is still almost as low as it’s ever been in the last 30 years.

The Europeans can only look at our immigration “problem” and drool with envy. Unemployment in France, Germany and Spain has averaged about 9 percent over the past 10 years. They have an aging population, a fertility rate that will ensure a decline in their native populations in the years to come, and historical immigration populations that come from the same countries that have been producing radical Islamists, the likes of which bombed the commuter train in Madrid, assassinated Theo van Gogh in Amsterdam, blew up the subway in London and spent weeks last fall burning up the suburbs of Paris.

By contrast, our Mexican “problem” consists of individuals who, by and large, have an incredibly strong work ethic, are extremely family-oriented, and share our Judeo-Christian view of the world. Having practiced immigration law in the Tri-City area for the past 23 years, I can assure you I have never met one Mexican who came to this country with an ideological chip on his shoulder and wanted to blow the country up to avenge historical wrongs, actual or perceived.

There are many proposals presently being debated in Congress about America’s present immigration situation. Any real solution should include a path to legal status for those 11 million people already here and a process by which the U.S. government can continue to accommodate unskilled and semi-skilled workers in the future as the U.S. economy continues to expand.

Tom Roach, Pasco, Wash.

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