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Steve Winter
State Representative
District 3

July 29, 2011
"Isolationism and Immigration"

Steven Winter represents the towns of Newbury and Sutton, Merrimack District 3, in the NH House of Representatives.

Representative Winter is a member of the House Executive Department & Administration  Committee, The Special Committee on Public Employee Pension Reform and the Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules (JLCAR).

"I bring reason to your ears and … hold up truth to your eyes."
-Thomas Paine

After opining in this column last week that we should bring our troops home from their far-flung stations, I was asked if I were an isolationist. The answer is a definite "no". I believe that we as a nation must interact with other nations for our own economic and political survival. I favor the benefits of a global marketplace. I support mutually beneficial international trade and I believe in alliances with our friends for a common defense.

It is not isolationist to declare that Europe should defend itself. It is reality. Europe (The European Union) has over 500 million people and an economy that is almost as large as the U.S. and China combined. I do not believe that we in the United States have the obligation to prop up Europe through foreign aid and our military presence. Not now. Not when we see our own debt climbing to over half of our Gross Domestic Product. Why are we financing and staffing their defense?

Is it because of NATO? NATO was formed after WWII as a defense against the Communist bloc. Now, looking over NATO membership, we see that 11 of the 28 NATO members are former members of that Communist bloc. Its raison d'ętre no longer exists. Can we now admit that it is time to come home? This is not the 1950s. Today’s weapons systems and technology have made a physical presence in these countries unnecessary.

Now to another subject: Fred Hiatt, the editorial page editor of The Washington Post, said a couple of weeks ago, "Republican leaders make America less hospitable to immigrants". He says this will eliminate "the vigor of new arrivals." Once again we see the arrogance of our media elite who can not, do not, and will not differentiate between legal and illegal immigration. I know of no Republican who criticizes legal immigration.

My father was an immigrant from Germany. He assimilated proudly as an American to the point of not allowing German to be spoken in our home. He wanted us all to be "American." He himself was never a German-American. He was an American. My fellow columnist, Aarne Vesilind, is an immigrant. He wrote a moving column just last week about his assimilation and his pride at being an American.

We Republicans are, however, totally against illegal immigration. While some try to assimilate, most do not. The costs to the southwestern states and the federal government are staggering. Special ESL schooling and health care for these folks coupled with the increase in drug cartels, human trafficking, and other crimes have saddled our government agencies with tremendous costs at all levels.

There are some who say that the illegals are just trying to better themselves and should be allowed to remain unless they break the law. Tell me, what does "illegal" mean? Illegal immigrants have already broken the law. The first time one breaks the law is the hardest. After that, breaking the law becomes easier.



Steve Winter, Representative, Merrimack District 3
Newbury and Sutton, New Hampshire 

Telephone:  603-271- 3125 and 271-3319

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