We do not hear of the many neighbors along the border helping immigrants. In El Paso, Texas, nearly 2,000 asylum seekers are released from federal processing each week. Shelters run by faith-based volunteers feed them, provide clothing, overnight accommodations, coloring books for the children and snacks to take on the bus to their next destination. Donations pay for the costs.

Would it not be better if government funds provided care instead of detention in military-like facilities that are for-profit businesses? The moral crisis is our lack of care for our neighbors. People are fleeing violence and starvation. Would we not do the same?

Deploying troops when they are needed elsewhere and spending funds intended for defense purposes harms our country.

I know that in Maine, we need many younger workers. These asylees could answer a real need across our country. They are hard workers and contribute to their communities.

Border communities offer us a working model of caring support. A federally funded case manager has operated in many cities to help asylees navigate our legal system. Despite its success, the family case management program was ended by the Trump administration in 2017 because it was helping too many people stay in the country.

Let’s speak up for a compassionate system that helps really needy people and benefits us at the same time. We can still eliminate those who may be criminals.

Sister Jackie Moreau

Portland


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