EDITOR’S NOTE: A couple years ago, we unexpectedly received a letter from the Statue of Liberty, who asked us to post it on our blog. We heard from her again today and think her message is worth sharing:
I wrote to you a couple of years ago to say I was concerned that my being out here in New York Harbor constituted false advertising. After all, here I was with my lamp and a plaque proclaiming that I’m “mother of exiles” and saying, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” – all while you were finding ways to turn away refugee children fleeing violence and terror in Central America.
Now you’re apparently building a wall to keep people from crossing your southern border – even though the number of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. has been declining for years and a growing number of those who do come are coming from countries other than Mexico. And now your president just announced he also wants to cut funding to “sanctuary cities,” even though those cities follow the law and keep their residents safe.
Next up, they say, is a plan to block refugees from majority Muslim countries like Syria and Libya, where millions of desperate people, mostly women and kids, have fled civil war, terror and violence. This is part of a supposed crackdown on “terrorism.”
Except Americans are seven times more likely to be killed by right-wing extremists (almost always white) than by Muslims carrying out terrorist attacks. And the people trying to come here from those countries are escaping the very terrorists you say you oppose. They are literally the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free” that I was put here to welcome, and now you’re going to send them away to die.
Surely you know this wall won’t keep you any safer; it will just spread more fear and misery. Same for barring people based on their religion or national origin. Have you learned nothing from the time you pointlessly locked up Japanese Americans?
I’m sorry, but I can’t do it anymore. I can’t stand out here proclaiming a lie. You have no intention of living up to the words inscribed on my plaque, so therefore I have no choice but to resign, effective immediately. I request immediate removal from my current location and relocation to any country that actually lives up to the ideals I stand for.