Letter: Give them shelter
We are a nation of immigrants. We welcomed many thousands of refugees from Southeast Asia in the years following 1975.
Since then, the United States as a whole and New Hampshire in particular have accepted refugees from Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Latin America. We have offered them a safe place to raise their families, and to go to school and work, and they have become an important part of the fabric of our country and state.
Some 50,000 children, most of them from Central America, have crossed our southern border and are now in federal custody. Many are refugees, fleeing violence in their home countries.
Some are not.
We have a process for deciding who is a legitimate refugee and may stay, and who is not.
Our laws establish that process and government agencies carry it out.
We now see angry crowds blocking buses carrying these children, demanding that the buses take them somewhere else. Politicians demand immediate deportation, bypassing the laws they and those before them debated and passed.
What kind of person terrorizes children riding on a bus? Who are we as a nation if we rush to trample our own laws?
I hope that if New Hampshire is asked to provide temporary shelter for some of these children, at federal expense, that Gov. Maggie Hassan and our other elected representatives will say yes.
I hope that we will respond with compassion and wisdom.