LETTERS: Border threat paranoia, no need to belittle

Fear of terrorist threat from southern border is ‘paranoia’

Jake Longoria is worried about terrorists crossing over from Mexico. He imagines that since 9/11 they’ve been lurking down there plotting murder and mayhem, despite the readily verifiable fact in these last 17 years that there has never been a single terrorist threat from our southern border.

Ojalá, Mr. Longoria’s persecution complex is merely a harmless personal hang-up, like the guy who always carries disposable wipes to sanitize doorknobs. Unfortunately, the paranoid fringe seems to be growing, with evermore citizens trembling in front of their TVs, fantasizing about would-be assassins “looking for any opportunity to inflict mass murder” (to use Mr. Longoria’s quaint terminology).

In reality, immigrants commit far less violent crime than Americans born in the U.S., and they also do a lot of the dangerous and tedious work we non-immigrants depend on but don’t want to do. Without hazmat equipment, they rushed in to clean up toxic waste after Katrina and Harvey. And they’ll be here for the next big one in the Valley, if the purge doesn’t get to them first.

Immigrants continue to provide the majority of adult care — both adult daycare so that we can work that second job, and also 24/7 in-home care, changing adult diapers at 3 a.m. while we sleep comfortably knowing our parents are in good hands. They keep up our yards and spray our crops … I could go on, but almost everyone here on the border knows all this already.

I pray Jake Longoria and his crowd fail to infect more rational citizens with their paranoia. Because if they do, we may be in for a spell of ethnic cleansing that will weaken our nation’s social fabric and inflict awful suffering on an invaluable segment of our population.

Terry Church, McAllen


No need to belittle in English or Spanish

After reading the letter to the editor from Terry Church praising Mr. Gonzalez’s previous letter, where he speaks Spanish to Anglos as if to punish them for not being bilingual, I was really surprised to see such reverse racism and ignorance in action.

Church’s letter is full of inaccuracies. To begin with, Spanish is not the predominant language of this region; maybe 100 years ago it was, but not today. I am a U.S. citizen of Hispanic descent. My grandparents spoke mostly Spanish, but did attempt to learn the English language. It was their way of assimilating to the new country they were now living in, something many new immigrants forget to do.

English is the language of our country. If you refuse to learn it or speak it, then you become part of the ignorance that many like you embrace. As for myself, I speak both English and Spanish fluently, and I do not belittle those who are not bilingual whether they be Hispanic or Anglo, and respond in kind with the language that they engage me in.

Lastly, letter writer Church needs to fact-check his information on Ted Cruz. Mr. Cruz was born in Canada, then moved with his family to Houston where as a child attended school in Katy, and finally, neither Houston or Katy are in the southern part of Texas according to the official map of Texas.

Jake Longoria, Mission