Letter: All Lives Matter: A Case for Immigrants

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All lives matter according to the principles we uphold as a nation, the principles that have been the glue to keep our “Old Glory” together. America, Lady Liberty, mother to us all, has given us the opportunity to be the best we can be. What do we owe her? Shall we as a nation continue to spread and promote these values—or retreat—because we are afraid of those we have yet to meet?

All lives matter. Words matter, too. Etched on the tablets that Lady Liberty holds tightly, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” The United States can remain responsible for these words as a model to the rest of the world. This passage didn’t expire after our grandparents entered Ellis Island, they’ve become even more powerful as a symbol for all those seeking freedom.

All lives matter. When we keep families together and provide sanctuary, we are affirming our family values. We are saying that the same cohesive stitch that holds our flag together is strong enough to keep loved ones in each other’s arms, away from tyranny and devastation. There is nothing more inherently American about American families than those who care for their neighbors to help make their communities safer, stronger and healthier.

All lives matter. America used to be a leader. Point six percent of refugees out of all other nations were accepted to the U.S. this year. Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Iran and Uganda are beating us badly. Did you know that the majority of immigrants are women?

These are the women and children who yearn for their own chance at liberty. Who are we to deny them that chance? But it doesn’t have to be that way. We can be the leaders, we can demand the international respect we deserve, but we must earn it, we must work for it. Let us enact an All Lives Matter immigration platform that does what it says; provide a chance for those who want to be Americans the ability to do so. It’s what has always made us great.

—Sam Schachter

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