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Opinion >  Letters

Who are we?

The paranoia about the presence of a “caravan” of about 6,000 “invaders” at our border is shocking to some people, including me.

As a Vietnam veteran, I was proud to be able to do what I could to help in the immigration of hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese refugees who sought residence and eventual citizenship in the United States. After the fall of Saigon in 1975, the United States facilitated the immigration of an estimated 125,000 refugees. By 1980 we had accepted over 231,000 refugees. They were vetted and cleared for immigration and aided by sponsors from religious and civic groups. They have contributed substantially to our country, most becoming proud U.S. citizens. We can do this. I believed this is who we are and what we do. Our country handled this humanitarian crisis with ease.

But apparently, this is who we were, not who we are now. We should be at the border facilitating the processing of these refugees legally seeking asylum, not separating families and gassing women and children. This certainly casts considerable doubt on Ronald Reagan’s assertion that “American is, and always will be, a shining city on a hill.”

Bob Johnston



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