Fixing the Immigration System Must Be Done Without Bias

  • October 3, 2007

This letter appeared in The Greeley Tribune on Oct. 3, 2007

Dear Editor,

The recent forum held in Greeley focusing on crimes committed by undocumented immigrants causes the Anti-Defamation League concern. Fixing our broken immigration system is a pressing problem in America today and ongoing discussion and debate is needed to find meaningful and workable solutions.  It is vital, however, that the issue is addressed thoughtfully — without stereotyping, ethnic bias, or generalizations about entire groups of people based upon the actions of a few.

There is no doubt that crimes should be condemned and prosecuted, no matter who commits them.  At the same time, holding a forum in which crime is only discussed in connection to undocumented immigrants not only leads to harmful generalizations and stereotypes, but adds no value to discussions about needed immigration reform. All Americans must reject characterizations that cast aspersions on entire groups of people because of the actions of a tiny few.  Just as no one would suggest that Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber, was representative of all white men, no one should suggest that a person who commits a crime while in the United States illegally is representative of all undocumented immigrants.  The facts show that, if anything, only the contrary is true.

Let’s keep the immigration debate fair, inclusive and directed towards solving problems, and avoid unfairly painting whole groups of people with a broad, inaccurate brush.

Sincerely, Bruce H. DeBoskey Regional Director Mountain States Region Anti-Defamation League