The letter of May 16, 2019, entitled “Illegals get better care than veterans” shows how confused people are by current groups using social media to intentionally mislead and anger people who have legitimate complaints. The author of the letter states that as a veteran he must now pay for his medication prescriptions. I wholeheartedly agree with him that veterans and, in fact, all Americans deserve better.

It’s after that point in the letter that the confusion becomes apparent because the author then states that “Bizarre reports of illegals getting free health care and the hundreds of thousands now remaining on the border just to further the rising medical costs for average Americans should be considered abominable.”

These reports are indeed bizarre since the vast majority of people who come to our southern border are not illegal aliens. All peoples of the world are permitted to lawfully come to the U.S. to apply for asylum status as stated in 8 US Code 1158 and to make their case that our country should grant them residency from an untenable situation in their home country.

This law has been in place since World War II and gives refugees the right to apply for such status whether they arrive through a designated port of entry or not. While in the lengthy, onerous application process, the applicants may work but are not eligible for any kind of benefits from the U.S. government.

On the other hand, the majority of people who are referred to as “illegal aliens” are people who have overstayed their visas.

According to the Homeland Security website, the country that is the number one offender of their citizens who are in this status is Canada. I’m fairly certain when the author said it would be “preposterous” to suggest killing 50,000 people on the border as a deterrent would also agree that it would be a preposterous suggestion for our northern border as well.

Confusion over immigration issues can be laid directly at the feet of some social media groups who have their own, many times nefarious, agendas to cause discord in the U.S. They start these whispering campaigns that suggest that bad immigrants are taking our jobs and getting free benefits that the majority of U.S. citizens can’t get. They infer that the only way to be safe is to keep out all of “those” people. These social media groups are intent on spreading hate. They want us to spend our energy on negativity and encourage us to feel like victims.

The time has come for us to take away their power over us. As the old adage goes — daylight is the best disinfectant. I encourage each of us to spend time to become more objectively informed about whatever issues are impacting our personal lives. It really doesn’t take long to look up laws and official government reports. The public library can help if you are not proficient with online searches.

Once truly informed we can each communicate with our lawmakers with great frequency as to make our feelings known and thus spend our energies to bring about positive changes.

Patti Hicks is a Huntington resident.

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