To the editor: When George W. Bush used the term “compassionate conservatives” in his first term in office, the question was asked, why would a political party have to consider putting “compassionate” before its name? Now, in the time of Trump, compassion needs a new introduction.

In the upcoming election, the immigration issue looms large. A recent study showed that for many of us the issue is clouded by racism. Some people believe that black and brown numbers are putting white superiority in jeopardy. Another reason many resent immigrants is that they are coming here to get a free handout. However, the reason most of them come here is to escape horrible conditions in their native countries.

When Trump announced zero tolerance for illegal immigrants, he also meant zero empathy and zero compassion. Put yourself in the place of the woman facing intolerable conditions in her homeland, who has neither the time nor resources to apply for legal immigration and believes the only way to protect her child is illegally entering our country and asking for asylum. Sending the woman back to her country without her child or building walls is not the America that takes pride in the compassion and toleration that the Statue of Liberty represents.

When an illegal immigrant commits a dastardly crime — and you can be sure you will see it on Fox News — too many of us are willing to put millions of immigrants into that category. It is time for a compassion that will accept people who want to make a better life for themselves. How can we even consider deporting people who were brought here years ago illegally as children? How can we approve separating mothers from children?

We do not necessarily have to accept more illegal immigrants. We need common sense laws that address those people who are already here while making our borders more secure, which doesn’t have to include a wall that will cost billions. Sensible immigration legislation was ignored in the past and no solution is considered by the legislators who now control Washington. They believe the unresolved immigration issue will secure them more votes.

We should insist our lawmakers introduce a common sense immigration bill. Putting racism aside, putting country before party, not dividing us with wedge issues, ignoring Fox News and a little compassion would go a long way in solving the immigration problem.

Jack Strausser

Elysburg

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