Thursday, April 20, 2017
To the editor:
To Rep. Greg Waladen and the community: In these times of extraordinary fear and anxiety, imagine being a child. For 36 years I worked in the Mid-Columbia region in social services — in a mental health program, Head Start and child care centers, and in public schools. After retiring seven years ago, I have been volunteering in elementary schools in The Dalles.
Through the years I have met countless families who emigrated from Mexico...loving, hard-working families who are an essential part of the economy, valued members of our community. Thirty-four percent of students in North Wasco County School District are Hispanic. That is a lot of lives.
I hear stories of children crying, concerned that their families will be ripped apart or deported; they worry for their friends and future; they mention seeing White Power signs; some are told to pack their bags. They hear about “The Wall.”
I look into the innocent faces of the chidlren, hug them, smile, help them with their schoolwork, play.
Rep. Walden, will you protect children from being separated from their parents? Will you speak out against mass and random deportation of those without criminal records and work to fix our broken immigration system, giving people a path to citizenship. Will you comfort the children?
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Mosier oil train fire
Clips from oil train fire in Mosier, Friday, June 3, 2016. by Mark B. Gibson/The Dalles Chronicle. Enlarge