Letter: Protest planned outside courthouse

Published 8:33 pm Thursday, June 21, 2018

Breaking any law leads to consequences, and nobody should be above the law, regardless of who they are or what they have done. However, refugee families seeking asylum are not breaking the law. This has been a recognized principle guiding the American government for over 100 years. When we have abandoned this principle in the past, we regretted it and tried to atone for the harm we caused.

Today the U.S. government is refusing to treat refugees as victims, but instead treats them as criminals, unless they wait patiently in tent cities on the border with Mexico, waiting for slow-moving officials to process their applications before they set foot in U.S. territory. Anyone reading this ever stand in long lines waiting for officials to process paperwork? Then extend that time to days and weeks. When families choose to not wait indefinitely in tents, ICE agents separate parents from children.

Treating refugees as criminals is an immoral policy. Taking children away from parents in order to create a deterrent or force Congress to pay for walls and end legal immigration is equally immoral. And anyone who supports these immoral policies will have to find some way outside of American history or religious doctrines to justify it.

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A gathering to protest the current government’s policies is currently being planned in Albert Lea, at the courthouse, for the morning of Saturday, June 30. Why here in Albert Lea? Because the Freeborn County jail is the only facility holding immigrants for ICE in greater Minnesota, which at some point may include some of those currently being held at the border.

Whether you are pro-life or believe in justice that has room for compassion, you need to find a way to support this gathering and speak out against an inhumane, immoral practice carried out by our national government.

David Behling

Albert Lea