Letter: House needs a push on immigration

Dec. 19, 2013 @ 11:59 PM

Editor,

Unlike the previous House of Representatives under the control of its last speaker, this House and speaker — much like a wheelbarrow — in order to accomplish anything must be pushed.

Significant legislature is non-existent even when forces push and indicate a real need. This bizarre behavior defies logic. Jobs bills are proposed but not supported, workers’ wages are stagnant and have been for years but a minimum wage increase has not received a vote and people are hungry so food assistance is cut.

Much needed unemployment benefits are scheduled to expire and healthcare reform has arrived but an obsession to orchestrate its demise and with more than 200 scheduled days off this year has presented the opportunity and excuse to do even less.

The record of this House and speak leaves no doubt as to why immigration reform, which passed the Senate on June 27, 2013, has not received a vote.

Recently an episode of “The Andy Griffith Show” aired in which Sam Jones (a farmer played by Ken Berry) had invited an Italian friend to come to this country and help with the work around Sam’s farm. As the story goes, they had become friends when Sam had been stationed in Italy while in the Army. The Italian young man arrived and to Sam’s disbelief he had brought with him his sister and their elderly father.

The story continued with the Italian family’s misadventures and problems at Sam’s farm and Sam seeking Andy’s advice on where to relocate the family. The episode concluded with a change of heart by Sam. You see, Aunt Bea convened a gathering of the town’s people at the town hall to welcome the family to Mayberry and this country.

Aunt Bea told of the accomplishments made by famous Italian immigrants to the country and all the town members — men, women and children — applauded as the Italian family thanked their generous audience. The show ended with the Mayberry chorus, joined by all the town’s people, singing the national anthem of Italy.

This, while consistent with the good natured theme of all of these productions and maybe even naive, nevertheless portrays a better America. An America not littered with the resentment, manufactured fear and contrived demons sabotaging reform to this country’s broken immigration system.

Bill Dayton

Sevierville