As the current administration in Washington promises to continue the crackdown on immigrants, we write to express our disappointment regarding legislation before Congress seeking to curtail the number of people admitted into the United States, along with budget proposals to expand funding to persecute immigrants.
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. preached that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Isolationism is not an ethical response to a moral crisis. If the 20th century taught us nothing else, it is that a foreign problem today will become a local problem tomorrow. Rather than permitting our fears to relegate us to the role of bystander, let us summon the courage of our convictions and play the part of rescuer.
President Franklin Roosevelt said that all human beings are entitled to “freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear.”
Rabbi Irving Greenberg, suggests that we add one more freedom as a backup measure. “The lesson of Auschwitz,” he argues, “is that no human being should lack a guaranteed place to flee.”
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We not only should open our doors to refugees, we should also reject efforts to fund intensified targeting of immigrant families and, instead, strengthen our communities by increased funding for education, housing and health care programs.
Rabbi David Dine Wirtschafter
(This letter was also signed by the Rev. Mark D. Johnson, the Rev. Laurie Brock, and the Rev. D. Anthony Everett, all of Lexington.)