LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Misuse of English language, logic for political expediency

Alan Gaddis in his recent letter provides excellent examples of how to misuse the English language to justify his political opinions. (“U.S. treatment of asylum seekers is ‘inhumane’” Letter to the Editor, July 6) Also, he mistakes fact and uses poor logic to draw his conclusions.

He speaks of the horrors faced by “asylum-seeking refugee families” flooding our Southern borders. He states “these refugee families are seeking asylum (protection granted to someone escaping persecution, danger or poverty).

Wow, what a new definition. Let us review: the United Nations 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocol define a refugee as a person who is unable or unwilling to return to his or her home country, and cannot obtain protection in that country, due to past persecution or a well-founded fear of being persecuted in the future “on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.”

The United Nations does not recognize “danger” or “poverty” as being grounds. According to the United Nations “a refugee is someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war or violence.” Please notice “forced to flee” not “chose to leave.” Using the definitions correctly is vital. Shifting meaning to accommodate political beliefs is not an acceptable tactic.

He bemoans the fact that the illegal aliens are “shackled at the ankles” for their hearings. Excuse me but aren’t all criminals shacked at the ankles for their court appearances? He has the temerity to suggest that since first illegal entry is a misdemeanor, it is acceptable to break the law by doing so. I, humbly, disagree.

As for separating the children from their parents, that is exactly what we do when any single parent breaks the law and is jailed. What is the alternative — jail the children? In the next breath he complains that the families are being reunited and forced to live temporarily in tents (probably better than what they had lived in). I have checked and it appears the Ritz Carlton is unavailable at the moment.

In his concluding rant Mr. Gaddis alters the definition of “native” by taking the somewhat popular belief that “Native Americans” are actually the original occupants of North America. History clearly shows us their trek across the Bering Strait to gain entrance to this country. We can only make conjecture whether anyone else lived on the continent at the time.

According to Merriam Webster “native” is defined as “belonging to a particular place by birth.” Thus, every second generation is a native. Enough of the persecution whining, please.

In sum: let me correct the term “asylum-seeking refugee.” It is actually “illegal alien by virtue of having broken our immigration laws.”

Daniel Forsee

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