Letters to the Editor

John Tramontin: Welcoming strangers

Regarding House Bill 318, the immigration-related bill Gov. Pat McCrory signed recently: As a person of faith, I believe this new law is a step backward for our state.

It says that we are not welcoming to immigrants, when we should be providing safety. It does not respect their dignity as people who have the right to escape persecution and gang violence in their home countries to find a better place for themselves and their families.

And it continues to make it more difficult to be here legally when all doors to that path are being slammed in immigrants’ faces.

So-called “sanctuary cities” are necessary in the first place only because our immigration system is broken. Their existence speaks to the need for broad immigration reform that not only emphasizes the rule of law and our security, but also respects immigrants as human beings with God-given dignity.

The Bible instructs us to welcome the stranger in our midst. We should not push our fellow human beings out of our state or deeper into the shadows, but instead respond to them with compassion and with laws that allow them to contribute fully.

John Tramontin