Kyle Hendrickson of Grand Rapids holds a sign that reads “Not Why I Served” during a protest at Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids on Sunday. Hundreds of people gathered to voice their opposition to President Trump’s recent executive order barring citizens of seven majority Muslim countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days. (Neil Blake/The Grand Rapids Press via AP)

Letters: America was built on the welcoming of immigrants

SHARE Letters: America was built on the welcoming of immigrants
SHARE Letters: America was built on the welcoming of immigrants

I’m writing to express my deep concern at President Donald Trump’s recent executive order banning immigrants and refugees from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States. I am the daughter of Jewish immigrants who fled Hungary at the start of World War II. My parents were immensely grateful to be welcomed to their adopted country, which provided a safe haven for their family to live and grow. Horrified they watched as the rest of our family perished in the Holocaust that ensued. My parents were proud to become citizens of the country they loved and never took America for granted.

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Our nation was built on welcoming immigrants and refugees of all religious and national backgrounds whose rich diversity which has strengthened us and made us who we are. I grew up believing that this is what America stands for. We cannot now bar the door to refugees and immigrants based on their religion and nationality. People who are desperately fleeing persecution and oppression at home. And we must care for and protect those refugee and immigrant families who are here, so they do not live in fear of separation or deportation because of where they come from or the way they pray. This is not who we are.

I strongly oppose any executive order disqualifying refugees or immigrants based on their nationality or religion which flies in the face of the principles this nation was built on. We must ensure that America remains true to its values as a beacon of hope for all who are persecuted and seek peace, safety, and freedom within our borders.

Peg Lehman, Elgin

Ruining the country

I asked a doctor of psychology what you call a person who just has to be the No. 1 person in whatever is taking place? He answered: a narcissistic personality disorder person.

President Donald Trump has just devastated the U.S. refugee resettlement system by banning citizens from a handful of majority Muslim countries indefinitely. Mr. Trump’s lead man on this perilous task is Steve Bannon, who is linked to the racist and nationalist movement also known as the “alt-right.” The president gave him more power than the Joint Chiefs of Staff person. Many people believe that Bannon is making the calls on the Muslim ban.

Trump is out of control and actually ruining our country. It appears that the citizens of this country have united in protesting this ugly “executive order” that the president ordered. Our nation is a melting pot of ALL races, and ALL religions ! These executive orders he so loves to sign are a testament to his personality disorder. He is in love with himself, and enjoys the power he gives himself. Congress must take control of the abuses.

The Christian Reformed Church, of which I am a member, with many other churches and mosques, is deeply saddened by this “executive order.” This “order” has ruined the lives of many people from these war-torn countries. We grieve alongside of these families.

In our sadness, we pray that Trump will re-think his actions and allow the refugee helping programs continue. I personally would like to experience a miracle, that President Trump’s heart be changed for the good of the people.

Dean Koldenhoven, Palos Heights

Why houses have walls

In the Sunday Sun-Times, Phil Kadner presumes that fear is the basis for building the wall between Mexico and the United States. His liberal thinking won’t allow him to consider other possibilities, such as why houses have walls — not out of fear but for protection against the weather.

Does he deny that the U.S. has the right to protect its borders and establish conditions for entry? Does he believe our laws should not be enforced? Or that those who break our laws know better than we do? He claims there are people who believe building a wall will keep drugs out, but drugs don’t walk by themselves. The wall is for the people who move the drugs. Kadner’s reference to our young nation once welcoming the “wretched refuse” of the world shows how out of touch with reality he is.

Donald Nauyokas, Brighton Park

In harm’s way

We currently have thousands of American troops serving in at least five of the seven nations which are now banned from having people come to this country. Make no mistake about it, they are now in harm’s way. Those Americans who are contractors or run businesses in these seven countries are also at risk of retribution. President Donald Trump’s executive order puts these citizens in harm’s way.

Additionally, there are a significant number of relatives of American citizens living in the Sudan, Libya, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen and Iraq, not to mention U.S. citizens trying to get back to America, who are in limbo and potentially in harm’s way because of the president’s executive order.

By the way, not one of the 9/11 terrorists came from any of these seven countries.

This ban squanders what many see in America, throughout the rest of the world, as our ability to adhere to a moral high ground.

The ban needs to be rescinded immediately.

Dick Flesher, Orland Park

Dangerous path

President Donald Trump has now demonstrated he is crazy and dangerous. He just replaced the Chairman of Joint Chiefs with Steve Bannon on the National Security Council!

So, on matters of national security the president wants advice from the guy who ran Brietbart News, a right-wing champion of conspiracy theories and fake news, instead of one of our top military leaders. Add this to the fact that Trump denies our intelligence agencies’ assessment that the Russians hacked the election to help him win. And, that he admires Vladimir Putin so much that he’s considering lifting sanctions imposed on Russia by the Obama administration for annexing Crimea and invading Ukraine. And he says NATO is obsolete.

Trump is leading us down a dangerous path.

Tom Minnerick, Elgin

Taking credit

Since President Donald Trump has angered the president of Mexico to the point of canceling his visit to the United States, Mr. Trump can now take credit for keeping his first Mexican citizen out of the country.

Thomas Mackin, Rogers Park

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