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What happened to the America that once welcomed immigrants?

Vice President Mike Pence toured the Baltimore ICE facility on Wednesday, May 1, 2019.

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free." These words, written by Emma Lazarus, can be found on the base of the Statue of Liberty. I guess we'll have to add the word “don't" to the beginning of this plea (“Trump's campaign of terror against immigrants,” June 24).

Once upon a time, we were the beacon of hope and the destination for the needy and oppressed who sought to make it to the "land of the free." Of course, that was during the time when we needed a large and cheap labor force to toil in the newly emerging industries of the 20th Century. All you needed to gain entry was good health.

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Many whose forebears made it to the new world as immigrants — and that's everyone except Native Americans — now want to shut the door on most new arrivals. In addition, they're working on how to throw out many who are already here. We're here and we don't want you. You're mostly not white and don't speak English. It doesn’t matter that neither did those who came in that other great wave, but they were needed then.

Obviously, the tone has been set by our racist president who has a good word only for those emigrating from Norway. What could it be about them? His leadership has empowered bigots throughout the land to come out of the woodwork and join him in his isolationist tendencies. It is a rebuttal of everything that America has stood for throughout the centuries. Disgraceful.

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The best that can be hoped for is a standoff until the next election when this plague will hopefully be lifted from our land. Every infusion of immigrants has resulted in benefits to the greater good. And all were vilified upon entry.

Sig Seidenman, Owings Mills

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