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Jami Kennedy: Don't let them get you down

Posted: March 1, 2010 2:38 p.m.
Updated: March 2, 2010 4:55 a.m.
I have read all the letters in The Signal, Daily News and the Los Angeles Times regarding comments made by Santa Clarita City Councilman Bob Kellar about illegal immigrants. Wow, I've never heard or seen such a brouhaha on a subject before.

It has been said that Kellar said he was a racist. Not so, folks. The comment was made by another accusing him of being a racist because of his comments on the subject of illegal immigrants.

Kellar clarified his points by telling his audience that if his stand on "one country, one language" made him a racist, he agreed he was one. This did not mean he was against persons of other races coming to California (you know, aliens are from any country other than ours, and it is not a negative connotation!), but rather that we should honor our American heritage, operate under one flag and speak one language.

Give us a break, you purists who took that comment by Kellar to mean he did not like any persons of any race other than Caucasian.

Nice try, those of you who'd like to see this man deposed from his office. Let me run some figures by you all, taken right from the
wonderful KHTS-AM 1220 radio station Web site. This subject has drawn national attention. The subject needs to be addressed - not Kellar's comments on the issue.

With regards to an article talking about county Supervisor Michael Antonovich, let me quote you some fast facts: Children of illegal immigrants cost our Los Angeles County nearly $570 million in welfare and food stamps in 2009. Approximately 23 percent of all CalWORKS and food stamp issuances in the county are made to parents who reside in the United States illegally, and collect benefits for their native-born children.

Add this to $350 million for public safety and almost $500 millions for health care, and the total cost for illegal immigrants to county taxpayers far exceeds $1 billion a year, not including the millions of dollars of education they receive, according to Antonovich. Wow!

Nobody said legal residents were not entitled to these benefits, whether they are white, brown, red, yellow, etc. The key words here are "Legal residents." Nobody is denied the opportunity to become a citizen of our wonderful country.

In today's edition of The Signal, there is a front page article regarding human trafficking, and those who choose to enter our country illegally ("Facing the border: A day laborer's story," Feb. 7).

The plight of the man in the article is horrifying, we all agree. He has apparently been risking the hazards of coming to the United States and trying to stay here off and on for 10 years.

The man addressed in the article said he and other illegal immigrants who arrive here are finding it harder and harder to make enough money to send some home to their families. Our fair city has been trying to come up with a plan to keep day laborers off the streets since the 1990s. They say the efforts have gone nowhere.

The man who came here illegally said he used to make $500 a week and send some home to his family. Now he makes half that amount.

The article states that there are about 150 illegal day laborers in Santa Clarita. That's a lot of risk for them, and a lot of support that has to come from the United States.

The fact of the matter is, Kellar is a perfect example of a fine citizen of Santa Clarita. He wants what is right, what is legal and what is best for Santa Clarita.

Some of those who have come forward verbally or with letters to the papers are using this misunderstanding of words to further their own agendas.

I say, let us get past this issue we've spent so much effort on lately. I think a quote by Dale Carnegie sums up my feelings for Kellar and his efforts to ensure Santa Clarita thrives and grows with grace and compassion.

Carnegie said, "Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all."

Keep it up, Kellar. Don't let the naysayers get you down.

Jami Kennedy is a Santa Clarita resident. Her column reflects her own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.


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