Letter: Squeezed out

Dear Editor:

I wasn’t able to attend the immigration forum Monday night, but from what I read in the papers Tuesday morning, it doesn’t appear I missed much. I especially enjoyed the comment that “a roomful of job applicants mostly cleared out when told they’d be required to take a drug test on the spot.” Is that because all Americans are on drugs or because we’d rather not have to pee in a cup for the chance to clean your toilet?

Sounds like most of the comments at the forum centered on the tired old argument about immigrants taking only the jobs Americans don’t want. That is such bull! Take a stroll around Aspen, and check out those jobs that Hispanic immigrants have because we Americans presumably don’t want them: bank managers, loan officers, bank tellers, secretaries, store managers, store clerks, stockers, checkers, carpenters, roofers, siders, painters, snow shovelers, Bobcat drivers, landscapers, window washers, property managers, maids, nannies, food servers, chefs.

Hispanic immigrants might have started out in the fields and ditches, but not all of them stayed there. The smart ones learned English, and being bilingual got them jobs. But we refused to learn Spanish. We pompously declared that, by God, this is America, and in America we speak English.

Now they have the jobs, and we are starting to look a little foolish! And unemployed. Unless we learn Spanish, the problem will only get worse. Like it or not, right or wrong, more and more Hispanic laborers will be imported, and more bilingual service workers will be required. And the rest of us will just keep getting squeezed out of the work force.

Launa Windsor