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Letter: No excuse for cruel treatment of refugee families

I'm very concerned about the treatment and forced deportation of illegal immigrants. It reminds me of the blaming, then slaughter of six million Jews because Hitler needed someone to blame for his country's problems.

Many Germans were oblivious, sometimes willfully, about where the trains were taking people or what was happening to them. Churches were said to increase the volume of the music so as not to be disturbed by screams as the trains passed by.

Today, even though our unemployment rate is low, many accept President Trump's claim that conditions are "awful" because "illegals" are taking jobs from Americans. Additionally, according to Trump, they are "murderers and rapists" and must be deported.

Now, families are being split up, and fear is everywhere as ICE—Immigration and Customs Enforcement—sweeps through neighborhoods, picking up suspects. Sanctuary communities are bowing to threats of economic reprisals.

Trump's latest plan is to separate children from their mothers when the moms are apprehended as they arrive. How traumatic!

Working as a volunteer with refugee families who settled in Jamestown a number of years ago, I observed the fear and insecurity of many of the children, who'd known nothing but instability and loss.

One family with three preschoolers slept together on the living-room floor at first rather than separate into the three bedrooms. A 3-year-old who, with his mother, was separated from grandparents and all others he held dear, was terrified whenever his mother left for driving lessons or English lessons, and I would try to care for him.

What good can come of destabilizing families? Destroying the futures of children and young adults who know no other home than America?

Scripture is full of admonitions to treat the stranger and alien fairly. War has added thousands more refugees; America is turning its back. Shame on us!

Ruth Urdahl

Jamestown, N.D.

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