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Letter: Immigrants bring value to communities, nation

Thank you, Julie Buntjer, for your wonderful piece in the Sept. 25 Globe. I am also saddened by the Washington Post article. I do not understand some hateful attitudes expressed about immigrants. I hope those attitudes are based on unfounded fear caused by not having enough information.

I know from firsthand experience that immigrants bring value to our community and nation. My father immigrated to the United States when he was 5 years old. His parents came seeking opportunity. Their first way of earning a living here was being employed as farmhands. Sixteen years after my father came, he was drafted into the U.S. Army. His induction papers list his occupation as farmhand. He spent three of the next four years in a frontline unit engaged in jungle combat defending this nation against authoritative Japan.

After his discharge, he and my mother worked hard to save enough money to put a deposit down on our farm. They added value to their church and community. They had two sons. My brother and I are both outstanding and productive citizens. The hard labor our family provided make Minnesota and the United States richer and stronger.

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I have to state that my family was mostly respected and given the opportunity to succeed even though they did not know the language or "the ways" of the United States. My family started at the bottom of the ladder, were given the opportunity and with hard work made a good life for us in this "new land.” My family immigrated from Holland. I ask myself the question: Would we have succeeded as well if we had come from Mexico or Central America?

That is my immigrant story — not much different from a lot of similar stories in this area. We still need someone to do the hard labor and dirty jobs in our area. The immigrants coming to the Worthington area are willing to start at the bottom of the ladder and work hard. Do they not deserve the same respect, education and opportunity provided to us when we came to do the hard labor and dirty jobs?

I hope by giving everyone a brief story of our family journey I have had a positive effect in the debate and will help to reduce the unfounded fear that I see in some parts of our community.

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