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Some things are hard to understand

John Hannon
John Hannon
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Under the heading of, Much, too much, is all the attention being given to the incident involving the mauling of a little girl by a dog. In a recent issue of the Vail Daily, one Bill Yetzer of Gypsum wrote in to state the entire tragedy in two short paragraphs.This is in stark contract to the soliloquy penned in the next days issue by Stephen Sheldon, doctor of veterinarian medicine. This text was only a bit shorter in length than Tolstoys War and Peace. Steve, baby. Max is a DOG. Even if had a right to a trial by jury, where could we find a jury of his peers? I dont want to upstage Mr. Yetzer because his letter was eloquent, compassionate and accurate in what should have been done. A Readers Digest version of the affair would be: a) dog viciously attacks little girl; b) Dog is euthanized. End of story. Max probably deserves another chance, says Dr. Sheldon. Get real, doc.It is said by some that timing is everything. I wonder who was responsible for when the crackdown on the Swift & Co. meatpacking plants should take place. It is possible whoever did it didnt remember that Christmas is just around the corner. Its also possible that he or they just didnt care or, even worse, thought it would be a big joke to separate families at this time of the year. The Friday, Dec. 15, 2006 copy of The Denver Post has on the front page, a column titled, Scores of illegal workers deported. it goes on to say, Lawyers and activists say detainees may have legal rights, but they dont know who is being held or where.In his column in the same issue Jim Spencer refers to storm troopers from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. The next paragraph calls the agents, … heavily armed hordes of masked government agents.Swift & Co. claims to have attempted to forestall this invasion by obtaining an injunction and agreeing to cooperate with the federal government in identifying which of the workers were legally in the United States and which were not. No reason was given why the Feds would not agree to take this course of action. I recognize the necessity for laws and a respect for these laws. Also, I know laws were broken by the use of false IDs and Social Security cards. In addition, there was identity theft. However, I dont believe in a shotgun approach to enforcement, particularly when it seems a more prudent procedure could be had. Legal residents were detained. In one case a man was held until his wife brought in documents proving his legal status. Families were left without incomes as the husband and fathers were detained or deported. Wives lost their husbands; children lost their fathers; families lost their homes. It is only by a stretch of the imagination that you could call the illegal immigrants employed by Swift and Co. a threat to our national security. Also, there are such motivations as compassion and understanding which seem to have been lacking when ICE embarked on this project. They were dealing with poor souls whose only reason for being here was to make a living for their families and themselves, because they could not do so in the countries they left. These were not terrorists. For the most part, they were peaceful and respectable. The entire project was ill-timed and poorly planned. We are all Gods children and should not abuse one another in ways such as this. The entire subject of immigration has been under study for some time with the purpose of providing fair conditions for those immigrants who come here to join the immigrants and descendants of immigrants already here.We dont need fences, deportation and incarceration as much as we need understanding, love for our fellow man and a willingness to provide a process by which immigrants can be assimilated into our society. A little common sense wouldnt hurt. All you Tom Tancredos out there: are you listening? John Hannon is an Eagle resident and a regular columnist for The Vail Trail. E-mail comments about this column to editor@vailtrail.com.


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