Support the Dream Act

As a retired educator, I am horrified by the Trump administration’s action rescinding DACA for nearly 800,000 young people, several of whom I worked with as a volunteer mentor with the ASPIRE program at Ashland High School.

Many have earned degrees, have jobs and contribute to their communities. Their education came without the benefit of federal financial aid but with a few private scholarships and a great deal of initiative, productivity and trust. All consider the United States their only home.

I know that these individuals came out of the shadows, in the process exposing their families. It was not without spiritual and financial cost. They pay nearly $500 every two years for permission to work.

By this action our administration has fueled the fear and hatred of strangers that made the early 1920s such an awful time. This is not what our immigrant ancestors hoped for their children and their children's children.

Please contact your legislators, especially U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, to sponsor the Dream Act of 2017 (S 1615/HR 3440). It is a small step in creating a safe and healthy environment for these inspiring young people and their families — one where walls are broken down not by hammers but by promise and solidarity.

Ann Magill

Ashland

What makes America great?

The question “What makes America great?” has been posed to the American public on numerous occasions over the past year, and at times, one can find it most difficult to answer given the many trials and tribulations we have been confronted with. However, in these times of uncertainty, I am reminded of the two phrases on which our republic was formed: We the People and E Pluribus Unum.

These two phrases illustrate the enormous magnitude of our great country because whenever we have encountered tumultuous times before, we have met the challenges together. It took Americans to gain our independence, not one person. It took Americans to defeat Hitler, not a single individual. The list goes on and on. Each of us, no matter our personal beliefs, our socioeconomic standing, or where we trace our family heritage, are above all, Americans.

From our diverse backgrounds and plethora of personal beliefs, comes the very idea of America: a nation founded on the principle that each of us are endowed with “certain unalienable rights”, no matter who you are. We are a great nation, but I pose this question to you: can we make our nation better? Our collective history says yes.

Mickey Harvey

Medford