Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find reader comments on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvocate.com. Want to get in on this? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject.Immigrants Deserve Respect, Not a Life of Fear
Over the last number of months, the Trump administration’s shift in federal policy towards undocumented residents has fostered terror throughout communities in the Valley. The local papers have reported that, on Tuesday, three farmworkers were detained by ICE on their way home to Springfield from work on a Hatfield farm. On Monday, two immigrants who work in a factory in Holyoke were detained by ICE. One of them, Anival Gomez, is an organizer with the Pioneer Valley Workers Center.
Many farms in our region, as in much of the rest of the country, rely on foreign-born workers to plant, tend, and harvest their crops. Agriculture has relied on immigrant workers for decades, but Congress has failed to recognize the importance of these workers by creating options for legal status and citizenship.
These are our neighbors and friends, and they have come to the United States for the same reasons that have brought generations of immigrants from all over the world. Many of our forebears came to escape poverty, discrimination, or genocide, making the hard choice to leave their homes behind for themselves and their children. Today’s undocumented immigrants travel thousands of miles, risk the border crossing and undocumented life in the United States, and work demanding, low-wage jobs for many of the same reasons.
The truth is that many of the people who are in this country without documentation have been here for years and years, and they are part of our Valley community. Their children have grown up here, they attend church or temple, and they have taxes taken out of their paychecks. And every day of the year, we rely on many of them to work on farms to grow our food. They deserve our respect. They have a right to legal protections and a pathway to citizenship. And at the very least, we should not force them to live in daily fear of deportation and separation from their family members.
—Philip Korman, Executive Director
Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA), South DeerfieldRecommended Reading About Porn
Some reader responses to Yana Tallon-Hicks’ V-Spot column “My Partner is a Port Addict, Now What?” Nov. 9-15, 2017.
Porn viewing is a very difficult habit to break. Many viewers rationalize that it’s ok but it’s not. The consequences to individuals and families are negative and will tear apart your marriage if it’s not addressed. How can he overcome porn? 12-step programs help some people but have a 80-90 percent relapse rate. One of the best programs out there is in the book Power Over Pornography. Its unique, cognitive-behavior-based approach doesn’t require self-discipline and works. I recommend it.
—Brian Brandenburg, Chantilly, Virginia
Recommended — Ethical Porn For Dicks, A Man’s Guide to Responsible Viewing Pleasure by David Ley.
—Ruby Ryder, Ventura, California