Letter to the Editor: Is This Who We Are?

Yesterday, I saw an image that haunted me all last night. It was the sad face of a Hispanic woman in Phoenix, Ariz., in the back of an ICE van being deported while her two adolescent children (U.S. citizens) watched in horror. And I asked myself: Is this who we are as Americans? Are these our values?

I love this country. I love what I thought it stood for, and what I loved did not fit the picture of this Hispanic woman. My picture was the Statue of Liberty welcoming immigrants coming to this country from distant shores. My picture included the words of Emma Lazarus inscribed at the bottom of the statue:

“Give my your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, the tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Americans are being tested on this issue. Who are we? What do we stand for?

We, as a country, are going to spend up to $25 billion of our money to build a wall that will be unsuccessful at keeping human beings from crossing the Mexican border illegally. ICE is trying to enforce President Trump’s order to deport 11 million illegal aliens. Is this who we are?

I mostly have registered Democrat in my life, but on at least two occasions I have registered Republican to vote in primaries for worthy candidates. Republicans and Democrats have said they believe in family values and used to ask their religion to guide them in important matters like deportation. Is it family values to deport this mother in front of her children? Does my religion demand this Hispanic woman be deported because she is illegally here?

For me, the answers are clear. My family values do not say, tear this woman from her husband and children. I am a Christian, and my understanding of Christianity does not call me to support deporting this mother. What do your family values and religion say to you? We are all Americans. We need to come together on this issue.

I ask you to examine your conscience on the issue of deportation and make your thoughts known. Maybe, through a dialogue, we can reason this tough issue through and come together again. Hopefully, we the people, can find a way for this mother to be reunited again with her family. Peace.

Patrick Cerra

Egg Harbor, Wis.