Letter: US should stand for human rights

To the editor:

A while back I heard the phrase “We didn’t cross the border, the border crossed us” from a Mexican immigrant. I wondered what that meant.

A little history refresher reminded me of the “Manifest Destiny” decree of President James Polk, declaring that God’s will was for the U.S. to conquer all territory to the Pacific Ocean. In 1848, after perpetrating a war against Mexico, the U.S. claimed nearly one third of Mexico, which became the states of California, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico.

Why does this matter now?

There is no doubt a wave of anti-Mexican sentiment is creeping through this country, being bolstered by legislation imposing harsh punishments that callously rip apart families and devastate lives.

Our south of the border neighbors have been coming to this country for generations to take hard, low-paying jobs that are essential to our economy. They risk their lives to come north to escape violence, drug cartels, and hopeless economic situations. I’ve met a number these people over a couple of decades and they tend to be humble, hardworking folks. Of course, there are some bad, as in all communities, but that should be a separate criminal issue.

As a country, we should stand up for human rights. Can’t we be open to a compassionate and reasonable immigration policy? Please call your legislator, speak up, and vote for candidates who respect all human life.

Jan Schreiber,

Shawano