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Saturday, Apr 19, 2014
Letter of the Day

It is time to stop denying the truth

Published:

I wish to comment on Rep. Steve King's recent statement in relation to children brought to this country by their parents without the benefits of proper documents.

King, R-Iowa, asserts that dreamers would like to categorize undocumented youths as all being valedictorians while in his mind they instead are pack mules for drug traffickers. King's depiction of slim youths with thick calves is perhaps not so far from the truth - but not from carrying drugs. Instead, it is from lugging vegetables, fruits and citrus in this country.

I was brought to this country as an undocumented child, and by the time I was 9 was harvesting fruit alongside my parents and siblings. I was not valedictorian - far from it since I never finished the sixth grade. I did not have the benefits and protection of legal immigration documentation until I was 18. I cannot explain how this makes an emotionally frail teen feel, not because I don't know the words but because it is too painful to recall.

You can choose to look the other way, demonize us or even blame our parents for choosing the only way out of poverty they had at their disposal. However, you cannot deny the truth that this country has benefited from our unprotected backs at your disposal for cheap labor.

Please do not patronize us anymore by your accusation of unlawfulness while benefiting from abundant affordable produce. It is time to stop the double talk and for once truly reward hardworking people who harvest, cook, clean and do any other job you are unwilling to do.

Guadalupe Lamas

Plant City

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