Gloria Loud, in her letter “Too many immigrants” on Nov. 15, was perfectly justified in complaining about the behavior of Somali immigrants in Portland who continue their ethnic hostilities after coming to America. Marc Edwards reminds us in his letter, “Closer to home” on Nov. 20, that we are not perfect ourselves. But our lack of perfection does not mean we must be shamed into silence about the behavior of immigrants, which is offensive to our values. We have a culture of our own, and respect is a two-way street.
Six states have now passed laws banning female genital mutilation because immigrants who practice this ritual in their native land have continued to do so after they became American citizens. But in America, we do not cut off the genitals of little girls. We do not force 13-year-olds into arranged marriages with old men. We do not tolerate sweatshops in which people are forced to work long hours under miserable conditions. We do not allow young girls to be sold into prostitution rings, and we do not tolerate ethnic squabbles between families of different tribes.
All of these behaviors are widely practiced or tolerated in many foreign countries, and recent immigrants have continued these behaviors after coming to our country and accepting U.S. citizenship. These are not the “normal ways” in America. Julie Tosswill Mainers for Immigration Reform Camden