While EGP prefers to receive comments from our readers in letter form or as comments on our Website, www.egpnews.com, we have a number of readers who feel so strongly about an issue that they just have to pick up the phone and give us a call or stop by in person to let us know what they think about something we have published.
The number of people calling or stopping by has picked up quite a bit in recent weeks and the issues that seem to be driving the need to be heard are immigration, healthcare and the economy. Experience tells us that we are more likely to hear from those who disagree with something we have published than those who want to say “way to go, you got it right.” That’s just the nature of the newspaper business.
As usual, immigration reform continues to be a hot button, generating lots of responses, mostly against granting legal status to people in the country without permission.
Last Thursday, a few hours after the newspaper hit his driveway, Mr. Raul Santana of El Sereno called EGP to say he disagrees with an op-ed we published that day, “The Case for Comprehensive Immigration Reform” by the Rev. J. George Reed and Chris Liu-Beers. He does not think that US immigration laws should be changed, that is unless the changes “will make it harder for illegal immigrants to come to the US.”
“I know too many people looking for a job,” he said, adding that his son was laid off three months ago from his accounting position with a major retailer that is “way down in sales.” He can’t find a job anywhere, said Mr. Santana, who added that his two grandsons who are in their late teens have been looking for months for a job, but all the jobs are taken by “illegal immigrant men and women in their 30s.”
“How are the kids supposed to get work experience?” he told EGP. “Stop just telling one side of the story,” he said. “Americans need jobs, they should come first.”
Another man, who only identified himself as a “senior,” told EGP that it’s not true that seniors support immigration reform or health care reform. He said illegal immigrants are making health care costs go up and seniors are the people being hurt; “My father came here [from Mexico]and worked when the US was at war and needed workers. He did it the right way. He didn’t expect to just be made a citizen, he went back [to Mexico]when he was supposed to,” he said. “You better go and talk to some seniors, we are Americans, and they’ll tell you that they don’t want more illegal immigrants and they don’t want the government to pay for their health care,” he said. “We [seniors]are paying more and more and getting less and less, and we worked for a long time for it,” he said.
“Allen” called and said he works in Vernon for a major company and it kills him to see so many “illegals” getting the jobs when he knows so many citizens are out of work. “They [companies]do it for the profits, no other reason,” he said. But he also thinks it is wrong for the companies to fire workers who have done a good job for many years just because of discrepancies with their Social Security numbers: “I am really conflicted because we sorta made them a promise, work hard, work for less and you’ll have a job. But now, a lot of them are getting fired.” He said it really isn’t about social security numbers being bad, but about the company cutting costs and getting rid of the workers who get paid the most because they have been there for a long time. “The bosses never cared about obeying the law before, “ he said. “They shouldn’t have hired them in the first place, but now that they have, they shouldn’t just abandon them,” he said.
Armando came into the office last week and told us (in Spanish) that the landlord of his small Highland Park apartment is trying to force him and his family out so he can charge a lot more money for the apartment, “because there are so many people who lost their homes and they can pay a lot more because it is still cheaper then their mortgage.”
“What can we do? We are trying to fight him, where can we find another place we can afford?”
Sra. Ramirez of East Los Angeles called and said she doesn’t really understand all the details of the health care debate but thinks it is “horrible that people have to give up food to go to the doctor if they don’t have health insurance.” She said she knows a lot of people who wait until they are really sick before going to see a doctor, and then it costs them a lot more, she said. “Don’t think they don’t get charged, they get the bill and it is always a lot of money.” She went on to tell us that when people go the emergency room it is because they just can’t stand it [their illness]any more; “Where else can they go, who else is going to help them?” she said.
“People need health care, I don’t care what you call it, just make it so everyone can get it,” she said on Monday.
It is not always easy to hear from people who think we got it wrong. Some days we just don’t feel like taking the calls. But the fact that people care so much and expect that someone at their local newspaper will listen to them is reassuring, especially in this age of dire predictions for the future of newspapers.
So whenever our readers call or stop by to show us the “errors of our ways,” we always thank them for sharing their views. After all, without them, where would we be?
And from those who wrote us letters and comments:
Re: “The Case for Comprehensive Immigration Reform”— Reed and Liu-Beers open their argument for comprehensive immigration reform by stating that nearly everyone agrees that our immigration system is broken. Untrue. Many Americans rather agree that the government has failed to keep its promises and enforce its own laws. Reed and Liu-Beers offer all the same arguments for comprehensive immigration reform that were offered 23 years ago and resulted in the 1986 Immigration Comprehensive Reform Act (which I supported). That act promised both legalization and enforcement. Unfortunately, since the Clinton administration, the government only delivered on legalization and somehow forgot about the enforcement part. This might help Reed and Liu-Beers understand why so many Americans are as suspicious of a nice new comprehensive immigration reform bill as you would be of a shiny clean lemon-colored automobile on the used-car lot. Fool us once. Letter from Gary Thornton Montebello CA.
Re: “Edison Power Outage Leaves Thousands In the Dark and Heat”— Aging SCE’s equipment serving the Montebello area, with each past rate increases, why can’t the rate payers in the Montebello area be equipped with updated equipments? Web comment by Eric MatsoukaPosted - Copyright © 2022 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.