The editorial on Jan. 1 (“Street life: Does a new argument about the homeless in Seattle hold lessons for us?”) could easily have been about illegal immigration.
There are many similarities. Both groups stir up quite a debate. Supporters of either feel an obligation to help. Opponents see them as a problem. Providing assistance to them attracts others. All forms of support are open to criticism. There are questions of liability and the financial burden involved in helping them. Existing laws and ordinances are being violated, but developing and following a set policy gets muddied by threats from the American Civil Liberties Union and liberal court rulings.
Both groups include some people who will provide no benefit to our communities and some who will.
Finally, illegal aliens (children excepted) chose to travel here and violate our laws. Many of the homeless became that way through life choices. Yet, both look to others to alleviate their plight.