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Letter: Regarding immigration, it's about justice and humanity

We, in America, are descendants of immigrants. I recall hearing my grandmother tell about her parent's emigrating from Norway. They were seeking a new land of freedom and opportunity. They resettled in the Bad Axe River Valley of Vernon County near Viroqua, Wis. Apparently, new immigrants were offered 40-acre plots if they promised to clear the land and establish their farms there. My great-grandparents were given two 40-acre plots which they kept in the family for many years.

We continue to have immigrants in our country — seeking new lives of freedom and opportunity. Yes, it is important that they live lives of respect and lawfulness. Many have found occupations, raised their children and established fulfilling lives. Obtaining citizenship can be a challenge as they learn and make adjustments in their new country.

At this time, we are experiencing fear and distrust among our new immigrants. Their children wonder if their parents will be taken away while they are in school. There must be a way to accommodate them with respect and compassion along with justice and humanity.

In Micah 6:8 from the Old Testament we find some words of wisdom, "What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with your God." Let's welcome the stranger and build bridges of hospitality.

Lucy Richardson from Hispanic Outreach is performing with credibility and compassion as she seeks opportunities for advocacy from our community resources. She is worthy of our appreciation for her service to the immigrants in Goodhue County.

A new group of concerned citizens has formed: Friends of Immigrants. Their efforts include education about the challenges immigrants face and the contributions they make to our community. Many are employed with work visas for farms and service workers who do the jobs that don't get filled by Americans.

It would be helpful to have a compassionate immigration policy that eliminates the fear with which some parents and children live each day.

Possibly we could learn from Canada. They have more than 60 immigration programs to assist immigrants with resettlement in their country with freedom and opportunity. Hopefully, we can ponder opportunities that we can do to alleviate this dilemma.

Lynne Rigg

Red Wing

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