Your View: Enforcing illegal immigration is about the law, not racism

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To the editor:

I recently read Reinventing America means reforming Virginia (February 3, 2011), a column by Ms. Lucero Beebee-Giudice, who I note is a paid director of communications for a local organization, Tenants and Workers United. 
    
I am reminded of President Ronald Reagans famous line, there you go again, because in her letter she once again equates policies and actions to support enforcement of immigration laws with the racist furor that has swept across places like Prince William County.  
    
This rhetoric confuses me. Reading my English dictionary, I see that it defines racism as a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. I and most Americans reject that belief, and welcome those among us either native born or immigrant who abide by our laws and contribute to our community. I fail to see how anyone could describe that as a racist belief.  
    
I regularly tutor at a program for elementary school students who are largely immigrant and mostly Hispanic. However, I also support policies that fairly enforce all our laws, including those concerning immigration. Clearly that position is not a belief limited to those of a particular heritage. For example, last week the newly elected governor of New Mexico, Susana Martinez, signed an executive order that directs police to question the immigration status of all criminal suspects; the order says police are not to ask victims or witnesses about their immigration status. 
    
On the other hand, I do support actions that protect the rights and privileges of all our law-abiding citizens. I have a good friend a small businessman who operates a painting contractor in Prince William County. His business has been substantially impacted even before the recession by competition from many immigrants who are in this country illegally and therefore willing to work for much less than he pays his workforce. Breaking into some ones home and taking food from their table is not the hallmark of those who fit my earlier description of abiding by our laws and contributing to our community.  
    
As a former tenant and current worker, I believe Ms. Beebee-Giudices time might be better spent by supporting those who are here legally and helping speed their assimilation into our society. Then again, if she did that, her organizations constituency might find that most Americans are not as racist and hateful as she portrayed them.

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