Many of us here in the Bay Area were saddened this morning to hear the news that Congressman Tom Lantos has died. It seems only a few days ago that he announced he was not going to run for Congress again this year, actually it was in early January. He has represented part of San Francisco and the San Mateo area for many years, and not only has he been a hard-working and effective representative for his district, he has also been a national leader especially in foreign relations. Rep. Lantos, as most people know, was born in Hungary and came to this country as an immigrant after World War II. He is a shining example of what the United States gains by welcoming people from all over the world. With his international perspective and his realistic idealism, he gave far more to this country than anyone could have hoped when he first arrived as a Holocaust survivor. This is something to remember now that we are talking so much about more recent immigrants and what we gain, or lose, by welcoming them. We owe more than we can ever repay to immigrants like Tom Lantos who have enriched the country over the years. He will be missed.
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