Friday, October 3, 2008

What Betty had to say . . .

Betty Soderlind of Forks, Washington, is a long time advocate for the poor in this small logging community. One of the founders of the Clothing Bank, Food Bank, Disaster Relief Committee, she has spent her life doing the "corporal works of mercy."

In a recent letter to the Forks Forum, this is what Betty had to say on the current "round-up" of undocumented workers in this area. (Scroll down - Betty's letter is beneath a couple of others on the Opinion page of the October 1, 2008 issue of the Forum.

And just in case this letter to the editor is no longer available on the Forum website, here's the text:

Defends West End immigrants

I want to come to the defense of the illegal aliens in our country. First, why are they here? I have lived many years below the poverty line, from the Great Depression to past middle age, but I have never known hunger nor have I ever seen hunger in the faces of my children. Six of my seven children are college educated, productive and comfortable. The Hispanics coming to our country are hungry, their children are hungry with no hope unless they leave their homeland and cross the border. The quota for legally entering is very low, so the alternative is to come illegally. To become a legal alien is not easy, and in many cases ends up in deportation. Some have employed lawyers to help them and have been successful, some have fallen into the hands of unscrupulous lawyers who have taken their money and disappeared. One family told me of their giving a lawyer $4,000. He disappeared. They are a very good family and would have been good citizens, but were deported. I believe most lawyers are honest but unfortunately there are those who take advantage of the defenseless.

They do pay taxes, many are living in substandard housing and paying $500 to $600 a month. That is ample to pay the property taxes. They pay gas tax, sales tax on everything but food and drugs.

Those of us who are comfortable, let us be a little more compassionate to those who are just trying to survive. Let us not forget that a large section of the Southwest U.S. was taken from Mexico just because we are stronger.

Betty Soderlind - Forks
Here are links to related stories, all from the Peninsula Daily News.

Living on the Peninsula Illegally

Part 2 of Maria's Story

Victor Velasquez is now a citizen

Border Patrol crackdown on West End pleases some, disturbs some in Forks

Detained teens choose Mexico; others reported arrested