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statue of libertyHow are you feeling about Independence Day and what you thought it celebrates this year? Nervous?  Worried? Deeply concerned? Satisfied?

Please feel free, indeed encouraged, to vent here. This usually apolitical space is unable to focus on fireworks, flags, and picnics. It just feels as though too much is at stake.

Can we talk? How do you feel, and do you have any ideas about relevant action? Tell us.

For the first time in our history, we are calling a moratorium on this month’s topic. Although the response has been heavy in number and high in passion, we reserve the right to never refer to human beings as “illegals” or suggest that immigrants are “crawling into our country.” If you detect a bias here, you’re absolutely right. We confess to seeing some issues less as dividing “Right” and “Left” than as matters of “Right” and “Wrong.”

We’ve tried to honor opposing views, but the outright cruelty and general ignorance of the law expressed by so many have no place here. The general disregard of human suffering and callousness toward babies and children is hard to fathom, whatever one’s political persuasion. The ignorance of our country’s history and values expressed is disheartening, to say the least.

So we are choosing now “to say the least.” Thanks to those who have written from the heart and the mind, and attempted genuine discourse without rage. To the rest:  while I appreciate your participation, I wonder how many of your immigrant ancestors would agree with your feeling of “I’ve got mine; to hell with anyone else.”

 

Those who oppose immigration on the belief that the immigrants are a burden on our economy are either forgetful or are unaware of our descendancy from immigrants who came to America seeking a better life. Those immigrants are the ascendants of our current Supreme Court Justices, Presidents, business leaders…… We need immigrants to bring their hopes and dreams along with their belief that America is still the greatest country in the world even though some of us who were born here question that belief intermitttently.

I’m a “left-winger” and I do get it. These migrants are following the law. It’s LEGAL to ask asylum for valid reasons. With few exceptions they are not sneaking into the country– they are applying for legal asylum. It’s sad that on the eve of July 4 there are so many misconceptions about the values our country stands for. (Remember Emma Lazarus’ poem on the Statue of Liberty.)

I feel very blessed to have lived in the United States all 75 years of my life. I simply can’t imagine what it would feel like living in a country that has little regard for my freedom from tyranny. Here, my state of mind is affected when I feel disrespected, and I’m sure that would be a long way down thne list for others who live where there is little respect for human lives, let alone for mental well-being. Consequently, even though I can appreciate the idea of immigration reform, I have a hard time putting myself in the shoes of those who are trying to come here to make a better life for themselves and their families. Like I said, it’s difficult for me to even imagine the struggles and obstacles blocking the pathway to such basic goals or people from other countries. I certainly don’t have the answer; however, I’m hard-pressed to condemn anyone who’s living with such a reality.