Take Action for Immigrants: Sample Letters to the Editor

Sample Letter One Sample Letter Three
Sample Letter Two Sample Letter Four


Focus: U.S. Intervention – War and Politics

To the Editor:

A factor frequently overlooked in today’s debate over immigration is the long history of U.S. intervention, both overt and covert, in Central and South America and the Caribbean. Beginning with the Mexican War in 1846, the U.S. has made dozens of military incursions and actually occupied several countries for extended periods of time. These actions were usually undertaken in support of right-wing governments and U.S. business interests.

This situation continues. The U.S. supported the June 2009 coup in Honduras, which opened the doors to organized crime and drug cartels. The U.S. also backed the fraudulent presidential election in November 2017. Since that coup, hundreds of human rights workers, labor leaders and environmentalists have been killed by the Honduran military and security forces in a climate of impunity. Is it any wonder that people are fleeing?

Word Count: 142


Focus: Domestic and Gang Violence as Grounds for Asylum

To the Editor:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ declaration that fleeing domestic or gang violence will no longer be considered grounds for asylum ignores the reality of violence in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador and the U.S.’s role in perpetuating that violence. Since the wars of the 1980s, the U.S. has backed repressive regimes and provided weapons and training to both the military and police.

In Honduras, the 2009 coup and the fraudulent 2017 presidential election (both supported by the U.S.) have created a climate where crime goes unpunished. Victims of domestic and gang violence cannot depend on law enforcement to bring their perpetrators to justice. Should we be surprised when they decide to flee the country?

Word Count: 113


Focus: U.S. Intervention – Trade and Politics

To the Editor:

A factor frequently overlooked in today’s debate over immigration is the long history of U.S. intervention in Central and South America and the Caribbean on behalf of economic interests. From the 1954 overthrow of Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala (in the service of United Fruit) to current conflicts over mining, dam construction and land use, the needs of the local population are always subservient to the interests of transnational capital. The NAFTA and CAFTA free trade deals promoted by the U.S. pushed hundreds of thousands of rural workers off their lands.

In Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala today, the U.S. is supporting governments that are not only ignoring the needs of their own people but also repressing those who stand up for their rights. The March 2016 murder of internationally recognized environmentalist Berta Cáceres is a case in point.

When people lose their land, they lose their way of life. When their government turns a blind eye to their needs, should we be surprised when they decide to flee?

Word count: 155


Focus: War on Drugs as Pretext for Military Intervention

To the Editor:

We have heard a great deal from the administration about the prevalence of drug dealers among the immigrants now coming to the United States. This is a claim that calls for further examination.

In reality the war on drugs is a pretext for U.S. military intervention in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. However, the focus of these interventions is human rights workers, labor leaders and environmentalists, not the actual drug dealers, who often work closely with the local police and military.

The U.S.-backed war on drugs is unleashing tremendous violence as shootouts and raids impact the lives of ordinary people and create a climate of impunity. Who can blame people for wanting to remove themselves and their children from this reality?

Word count: 122