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Subj: A letter to the Editor
To: Letters Editor L.A. Times
Re: 'Dear Ungrateful Foreigner . . . '
By Agustin Gurza - Click to read article (temporary link)
Tuesday, January 16, 2001
I find Mr. Gurza article ('Dear Ungrateful Foreigner . . . ', January 16, 2001, edition of L.A. Times) unfair and biased. I have read the City Attorney Penman's letter to Mr. Duran and the letter does not have most of the things that Mr. Gurza seems to imply it does. Particularly, Gurza's suggestion that Penman has referred to Duran's family as "the immigrant and your children, thankless intruders" does not follow neither from the form nor from the tone of the Penman's letter. Also, contrary to Gurza's insinuation, nowhere in his letter has Penman indicated "That Duran doesn't pay taxes. That he isn't a legitimate resident, but a rude guest. That he's a freeloader who bites the hand that feeds him". And I find it puzzling that Gurza doesn't bother to tell us what the actual Duran's immigration status is, although he is quick to mention that Duran is a "[f]ather of five children, four born in the United States".
The facts are that Durans have been offered quite generous relocation package: two months of hotel and food for the entire family of six, as well as a security deposit and first month rent for their new residence, compliments of the taxpayers of the City of San Bernardino. That Duran showed rather shocking lack of gratitude with his remark "They treat us better in Mexico", which I find rather hard to believe, has nothing to do with his being an immigrant or a U.S. citizen; under the circumstances, it was a rude thing for him to say. Unquestionably, we have the First Amendment in this country, but this doesn't mean that everything one says is right. When I compare Penman's quite polite letter to the Duran's statement, I find very little support for Gurza's closing claim that " Mexicans are too polite to say what they really think".
Redondo Beach, Calif.
More on the San Bernardino snit
Note: As of the date of this posting on the VCT site the above had not been published in the publication to which it was addressed.