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Open Your Eyes

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I’m an American, so let me correct what Ryan Patrick [“This Isn’t Mexico,” Letters, June 30, City Weekly] seems to think I want. I want illegals out of my country. Our resources are too valuable and scarce to give to those with no right to them.

Patrick seems confused, though, as he mistakes cultural pride with distaste or a lack of appreciation for America.

Everyone born here, even a child of an illegal, is as much of an American as Patrick is or as I am. America is a nation of hundreds of cultures. To encourage Greeks, Italians and Polynesians to celebrate their roots while telling those of Mexican ancestry that their traditions aren’t welcome is both hypocritical and racist. I want to see those Mexican flags fly—not as a spit in the face to America, but in celebration of its freedom to embrace one’s origins.

I don’t know a single Mexican who doesn’t want to learn English. It just happens to be one of the world’s most difficult languages to master. Until English is made the official language of the United States, nobody is obligated to learn it.

The U.S. Constitution leaves wiggle room for non-English speakers to share in the American dream, but Patrick seems to know better. In all my years, I’ve never seen an illegal “act like they own the country” or “push me around” as the writer suggests.

Also, if you think America is free of drug lords and violence, you haven’t seen enough of it to realize how alive and well these horrors are. There’s an entire government entity designed specifically to keep illegals out of America and remove those who’ve slipped through the cracks. If you feel enough isn’t being done, it’s your duty as a citizen to vote for lawmakers who have a more aggressive stance on illegal immigration. Until then, stop stereotyping and open your eyes to the fact that even if an illegal has a job here, they have the same taxes taken from their paychecks that the rest of us do.

Eric Ruiz
Salt Lake City

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