I am writing in response to Andrew Miller of Hyde Park whose letter appeared in the Poughkeepsie Journal on March 30th. Mr. Miller takes issue with the phrase, “No human is illegal” which he saw on a sign held by a young girl at a recent protest. He considers this girl and her parents to be “an example of brainwashed, liberal mentality” of the sort “appearing at protests … when all the president is trying to do is enforce this country’s laws.”
As a mother and an American, I applaud this girl and her family for participating in a peaceful protest—an act that is protected by the First Amendment as well as a longstanding hallmark of our democracy—and for standing up for those among us who are living in fear under the current administration.
Perhaps Mr. Miller should take a closer look at the president’s own actions in relation to the laws of the United States. This president has already violated the emoluments clause of the Constitution, installed close family members in positions of power within the federal government, threatened to illegally withhold federal funds from Sanctuary municipalities, and is striving to implement an illegal Muslim ban. I wonder what it will take for Americans like Mr. Miller to question their champion’s qualifications to enforce law and order.
In the meantime, Mr. Miller might better inform himself about American history, so he understands that there has never been a level playing field for whites and nonwhites seeking either entry or citizenship. Is he aware of blatantly racist policies like the Chinese Exclusion Act and the National Origins Act of 1924?
Sadly, history also shows that past presidents have scapegoated non-white American citizens in the name of national security, including President Hoover who illegally deported hundreds of thousands of American citizens to Mexico during the Great Depression and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt who illegally incarcerated 120,000 Japanese-Americans, most of whom—including my father—were American citizens. Since Mr. Miller is in Hyde Park, it would be well worth his time to view the exhibit on the Japanese Internment currently running at the FDR Memorial Library. It may help him realize he is headed for the wrong side of history.
Julie Shiroishi, Proud resident of a Welcoming, Safe, and Inclusive City