Rosemary Labonte Letter to the Editor: New Immigrants vs Old Immigrants-Opinion!

Rosemary Labonte Letter to the Editor: New Immigrants vs Old Immigrants-Opinion!

Summary of eRumor:
David Labonte has forwarded a letter to the editor written by his wife, Rosemary Labonte, about “new immigrants.”
The Truth:
Rosemary Labonte’s letter to the editor about new immigrants has been circulating via email since May 2006, and we’re classifying it as an opinion piece.
Rosemary Labonte’s letter to the editor has been widely circulated in a forwarded email written by her husband, David Labonte. David Labonte begins the email by explaining that his wife wrote the letter to the editor of the Orange County Register in response to an earlier letter to the editor written by a man named Ernie Lujan, but Rosemary’s letter was printed so David had decided to “print” it himself by circulating it via email.
The original letter to the editor by Ernie Lujan that inspired Rosemary Labonte’s letter to the editor appeared at the Orange County Register website on March 31, 2006, under the headline, “Tear Down Lady Liberty“:

Illegal immigrants have been around since the early 1900’s, except then they entered through Ellis Island in New York City. They came from countries such as Italy, Ireland, Germany, Poland and France. And now we accept them as true Americans.

Now these people whose ancestors came to this country to make a better life for themselves and their children want to build a great wall along the U.S. and Mexico border and deny these hard-working people the same rights that their ancestors fought so hard and died for.

If you build this wall then you must also tear down the great Statue of Liberty that sits in the New York Harbor.

Ernie Lujan

Rancho Santa Margarita

Rosemary Labonte argued in her letter to the editor that there was a difference between “new immigrants” and immigrants who came to the country in the early 1900s. Labonte wrote that earlier immigrants had given up everything to come to America, stood in line and registered at Ellis Island, and assimilated into their new country. Then she summarizes her view of so-called “new immigrants” to America:

And here we are in 2006 with a new kind of immigrant who wants the same rights and privileges. Only they want to achieve it by playing with a different set of rules, one that includes the entitlement card and a guarantee of being faithful to their mother country. I’m sorry, that’s not what being an American is all about.

I believe that the immigrants who landed on Ellis Island in the early 1900s deserve better than that for all the toil, hard work and sacrifice in raising future generations to create a land that has become a beacon for those legally searching for a better life. I think they would be appalled that they are being used as an example by those waving foreign country flags.

Rosemary Labonte wrote the letter to the editor as an opinion piece, and that’s how we’re classifying it. Labonte doesn’t provide any concrete facts that we can check — rather she provides anecdotal accounts that explain how she views “new immigrants” and immigrants of the early 1900s.

And we can’t confirm David Labonte’s claim that the Orange County Register had refused to publish the letter, but the letter doesn’t appear at the newspaper’s website. We found a range of other letters to the editor written by Rosemary Labonte there, however. Labonte appeared to be a regular contributor to the newspaper’s comments and opinion sections. Labonte wrote letters to the editor on everything from Disney World to history education in public schools.

It’s probably safe to say, however, that none of Rosemary Labonte’s other letters to the editor received as much attention about the “new immigration” one that was never published.