To the editor:

Thank you, Arizona Daily Sun, for publishing all those great letters to the editor every Sunday. I love to hear the opinions of our local Flagstaff readers on current events. It makes me feel privileged to live in the Flagstaff area when I read the comments of the thoughtful, intelligent people who live in our community. I may be an anachronism, but I have always been a devoted reader of quality newspapers, and I believe that your paper provides a pretty accurate mirror of our community. For the world news, I read the New York Times and the Economist. The Arizona Daily Sun really helps me feel connected to the community in which I live.

I was particularly inspired by several letters to the editor that you published on Sunday, Jan. 28, supporting the mayor and city council in their opposition to Trump's border wall as well as his racist agenda. We are so close to Mexico that it behooves us to maintain friendly relations with their people. Much of our labor force is provided by the hard-working Mexican immigrants: they keep our motel rooms clean, cook food for us in our restaurants, cut firewood for us, and build our houses as well as doing many other jobs that we do not want to do.

We have a stake in easing the path for responsible "illegals" to become citizens of our country. The "Dreamers" have grown up in America and they are as thoroughly American as those of us born to American parents. My great-grandparents were immigrants to this country as were many of yours, except in the case of the indigenous people. The American Dream is based upon providing opportunity and freedom of choice for the immigrant. America has traditionally provided a refuge for people fleeing from oppression and totalitarian rule.

We have sent enough people to death by deportation. This needs to stop. Donald Trump does not represent who we are as Americans. We are still the people who gave birth to the eloquent words of Emma Lazarus when she wrote the inscription to the Statue of Liberty:

Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me:

I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

BARBARA BARTELL

Flagstaff

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