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At the border.

Your editorial "Don't look away from concentration camps" (NCR, June 28-July 11) does its best to lay responsibility for the sad conditions on our southern border in President Donald Trump's lap rather than where it really belongs: on the doorstep of our feckless U.S. Congress, Democrats as well as Republicans.

While the conditions you refer to are likely worse than they've ever been, they originated years if not decades before Trump took office. So you really should think twice about applauding Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) and other members of Congress who sit on the sidelines taking cheap, inaccurate and inflammatory shots while collecting their six-figure salaries. Her hatred for all things Trump might well mirror your own, but they're not doing anything to fix the problems.

MICHAEL W. RYAN

Milton, Massachusetts

NCR's editorial naming the detention of immigrants as being in concentration camps is spot-on. It is especially important to realize that many of these "prisoners" have broken no laws because they are legally seeking asylum in our country.

My father, James C. Purcell, must be turning over in his grave! In the 1940s, he represented Japanese Americans who were put into concentration camps by our government. He successfully argued before the United States Supreme Court that Mitsuye Endo was unlawfully kept in a "camp" without due process when the U.S. government knew she was a loyal citizen.

How sad and tragic that history seems to be repeating itself. This is not how we "make America great."

JIM PURCELL

Los Gatos, California

[Jim Purcell is NCR board chair.]

Catholic parishes throughout the U.S. could sign a petition demanding humane treatment of our Latino immigrants/refugees. It should come from the bishops and contain a meaningful statement that this is not about politics but about our policies and what we stand for or abdicate from by our silence.

If the bishop teaches from the perspective of the beatitudes and counsels Catholics to set aside political affiliations, and proposes a way to assist by changing policies as well as offering solutions to the immediate needs of detainees, we could be an effective voice in our country.

This is a moral crisis in our beloved country. Let go of everything that prevents us from acting as the people of God. Step up, bishops: Set the priorities as Jesus did. Use your power for the real life-and-death issues that face our brothers and sisters in Christ. This is something we have the power to change in the power of the Holy Spirit, if we work together as we are called to do.

SHARON NELSEN

Sorrento, Florida

Concentration camps? What a vile statement. First and foremost, these asylum seekers (not immigrants) have come across the border of the United States illegally Name one other country that allows this? Are these people being experimented on? Are they being physical tortured by the people that house them? Are they being forced to work? In concentration camps run by the Nazis, there were no toilets. No showers. No food.

Anytime you bend the truth to support an agenda, you do more harm than good. Are you Catholics? Then where is God in all of this? Where are your spiritual words of wisdom? Your support for the holy church? By church, I mean the people. Try to advise them as Christ would, not as a spokesperson for the political left.

(Fr.) JOHN CLAYPOOL

Crestline, California

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Title Annotation:LETTERS
Author:Ryan, Michael W.; Purcell, Jim; Nelsen, Sharon; Claypool, John
Publication:National Catholic Reporter
Date:Aug 9, 2019
Words:581
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