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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

Dear Editor:
Ali Alexander's letter to the Editor indicates that he does not know Mexican history. The Catholic Church has not been a force in Mexican politics since Spanish colonial times; and then, when it did have some authority, it used it to defend the indigenous peoples from the exploitation of the Spanish conquistadors. A church educated ex-priest, who had left the Church, led the revolution for the independence of Mexico. Churches, convents, monasteries and other church properties were confiscated after the revolution by the government. Priests and nuns were forbidden to appear in public in religious garb. Where there is one person or one party rule for long periods, corruption is often fomented. Anti-Christianity prevailed in government for years. It was not until the 1950s that a president of Mexico publicly professed; “I am a believer”. Mexico is making much progress in democracy and just two years ago a new political party promising still more reforms was elected, breaking seventy-one years of one party rule. The new government was hoping for cooperation with its neighbor to the north to help bring about even more reforms but, despite promises, such cooperation has not been forthcoming. Mr. Murray should know that in my grandparent’s time the tired, poor and huddled masses, once they gained these shores, found the admissions part to be very easy. The only barrier was one of lack of health (i.e. the presence of contagious disease such as tuberculosis, typhoid fever, etc). Today it is impossible for the poor and unskilled to cross our southern border legally. There is just no legal way to do it. I would like to close my letter by repeating one more time: A person’s circumstances may explain behavior that may seem to deserve reproach. How many readers have experienced poverty? How many readers have been separated from the ones they love for long periods of time without seeing them ----say for ten years or more? The next time you sit down at your table with your spouse and family to enjoy a bountiful meal, stop and reflect for a moment.

Richard E. Baer



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