President Trump said he told the military that if people in the caravan presently approaching the United States in Mexico throw rocks at American soldiers, then those soldiers should act as if they were fired at by a 'rifle'.

How desperate the living situation of the migrant caravan walkers must have been and how brave they are to walk thousands of miles to seek a new life in the United States (“Migrants camp at Mexico City stadium as US votes,” Nov. 6). We Americans know nothing of the violence and poverty from which these people are escaping or the hardships they are enduring to make such a monumental trek.

These men, women and children are “your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” to whom our Statue of Liberty beckons. If we don’t support their efforts to escape their violence-riddled countries to seek a better life, then we are not the country that we once were. We are something less.

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As the caravan nears the U.S., think of what we might do individually or collectively to show our support, to show that the Statue of Liberty does not represent some outmoded sentiment against which we have hardened our hearts. How we as Americans, not as a government, respond to the migrant caravan will indicate to the world whether America still shines brightly as a beacon of hope to all of the world’s people or whether we have allowed hatred, fear-mongering and racism to extinguish that light.

Tom Tyner, Clovis, Calif.

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