Opinion » Letters

We need America back

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This is not the America where I was born, where we memorized the quotes on the Statue of Liberty, "give me your tired, your poor," where our church regularly delivered clothes and food to migrant camps in southern Arizona, where my father would spend his Saturdays teaching the kids to draw with paper, paints, and crayons. We took it for granted.

What changed? "Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me." Now, we're a hateful, angry, hostile country. Children are afraid to attend the Summer Free Lunch programs because of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which convinced us they were only targeting and deporting criminals. Not so in California. Daily, we see mothers and grandmothers crying as they are forced to leave families behind, kids who never knew their parents were illegal, fleeing horrible situations to give them a chance for a better life. That chance is what America used to stand for.

The Mississippi factory raids really upset me. From what I read, we should be investigating the management for abuse and exploitation, not detaining 700 minimum-wage employees, illegal or not. Somehow I don't think the criminals are hiding in a chicken factory.

I wish I was a lawyer to help with the overwhelming immigration paperwork—which I'm sure is very convoluted and impossible to understand.

I wish I was a doctor to help cure the diseases and infections that we're causing at the impossibly crowded internment camps.

I wish I had the money to care for all the scared children who come to the U.S. border with only a note pinned to their clothes.

All I can do is hope and pray the world survives this cruel orange dictator.

Bonnie Werring

Arroyo Grande

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