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Letters to the Editor

Gathering at park Saturday to support refugee families

The June 30 gathering in Princeton organized by Voices from the Prairie and other concerned citizens is in response to a direct policy put in place by President Trump and the real world effects of the deep anti-immigrant impulses he expressed throughout his campaign.

What is the cost of this policy to the soul of the nation?

What we are losing is the belief in decency and human value that has characterized the American dream for more than 200 years. The hope embodied in that dream is symbolized by the Statue of Liberty, whose torch has been the guiding light for millions of people who believed in what she and the United States represented.

Yes, it is a cliché — but we are ALL immigrants, whether of the fourth or fifth generation or a first- and second-generation immigrant as I am. This is an issue not only about children and families at the southern border, it is about all of us.

Border Patrol agents are now stopping people in Maine and New Hampshire and asking for citizenship I.D. As we know, that requires a passport on you at all times; a driver’s license is not proof.

It is a slippery slope. How soon before we’re required to carry national identity cards and identifying symbols?

This weekend’s national events are about the inhumanity of separating children and families, but they are even more about the fact that this government did not hesitate to put this policy into place without any idea what it meant or how to make it work. To paraphrase Sarah Huckabee Sanders, “that says more about (them) than it does about (us).”

The idea posed by the president that we should ignore due process and human rights when it suits him affects every single human being and shows a complete lack of regard for the Constitution and the principles that characterize who we are as people and as a country. The damage that does to us, our children, and the values that define us is a line that we should never, ever cross.

We are better than this and — yes — we do care.

Stephanie VanOrdstrand


Note to readers: “Support Refugee Families” is the theme of a public gathering planned by Voices from the Prairie and Human Human, two local transpartisan groups, from 11 a.m. until noon today (Saturday, June 30) at Darius Miller Park along North Main Street in Princeton. Participants are asked to arrive before 11 a.m. and assemble along the east side of the park. Because of the heat, bringing sun protection and refillable water containers is advised. Water will be provided.

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