Editor,

In two recent letters that appeared locally, Steven Wampler depicts me and the Department of Homeland Security as “dishonest" and speaking “falsehoods”

But Steve doesn’t attempt to make his case. His allegation is as weak as yesterday’s tea bag. You be the judge.

Anyone who has read my letters over the years knows that I am quite careful with my use of facts. “Dishonest” is not a word that fair-minded readers would choose.

My previous letter was on the subject of immigration. I wrote, “The rush to the border is a difficult and thorny problem.” That statement probably doesn’t strike anyone as particularly controversial. In addition, it’s a statement of opinion, not of fact. It can’t be false.

I also quoted a statement of the Department of Homeland Security that went, “Violence, food insecurity, poverty and lack of economic opportunity … are driving unprecedented levels of migration ….” This is a fairly innocuous assertion too. Do the two quotations above deserve to be described as “dishonest” and “falsehoods”?

Describing the problem at the border, Steve writes, “This is not a crisis that Biden inherited”. Really? It’s true that 2021 was a record year with 1.6 million “migrant encounters”. But we have previously exceeded 1.6 million, in 1986 and 2000. The problem has been with us for 35 years!

Finally, Steve writes, “the number of people coming to our nation illegally has risen by 542 percent since March 2020.” Steve knows that immigration hit historic lows in 2020 for two COVID-related reasons. People avoided traveling “al norte” during the pandemic. In addition, 22 million Americans lost their jobs during the pandemic.

The unemployment rate today is 3.6% and it’s reported that there are nearly two jobs for every unemployed person. That’s one explanation for why there is a rush to the border.

Mickey McGuire, Tracy

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