Letters to the Editor: Immigration policy is an intentionally cruel tactic designed to inflict fear

In this June 9, 2017, file photo, a vehicle drives into the Otay Mesa detention center in San Diego.
In this June 9, 2017, file photo, a vehicle drives into the Otay Mesa detention center in San Diego.
(Elliot Spagat / AP)

I never thought the news could make me cry. Until this week.

The recent cascade of soul-shattering stories about refugees and asylum-seekers having their children ripped from them — more than 2,000 at last count — literally brought me to my knees.

Under the current administration’s new “zero-tolerance” policy, anyone found smuggling a child into the U.S. will have that child taken from them. The president falsely claims this is required by law; it is not.

The policy is an intentionally cruel tactic designed to strike fear into the hearts of anyone fleeing poverty or violence in search of safety in the U.S.

Forget the “give me your tired, your poor” nonsense and listen up: America no longer wants you, and we’ll take your kids away to prove it.

This disgrace is not a political issue. It is indicative of a far deeper malignancy infecting the heart and soul of our country – a sickness that diminishes the nobler aspects of our history, contradicts the values upon which our nation was built and obliterates our image in the eyes of the world.

How did we get to this place?

Every human being on this planet shares the same journey — the one that starts at birth and ends with death. And despite our geographic, ethnic, economic, political and spiritual differences, we’re all pretty much on the same road. To deny a helping hand to fellow travelers in need is to deny the basic humanity in each and every one of us.

June 20 is World Refugee Day, designated by the United Nations in 2000 to “commemorate the strength, courage and resilience” of refugees fleeing persecution, war and violence. In the United States, our refugee and resettlement programs have enjoyed bipartisan support for decades. We must commit to upholding this inviolable tradition.

There are myriad ways to do this: Tell your representatives to insist the administration stop the inhumane separation of kids from parents seeking better lives for their families. Visit to learn more about the migration crisis and strategies for engaging neighbors, elected leaders and advocates for refugees. Or check out “8 practical ways to help refugees” on

And in case you missed this, we have our own immigration detention facilities on Orange County at the James Musick and Theo Lacy Centers in Irvine and Orange.

In a relatively affluent area like Orange County, it’s easy to miss — or completely ignore — the many challenges faced by those far less fortunate than we are. No matter what your political inclinations, won’t you take a few minutes to think about how you can help provide a warm welcome, understanding and assistance to fellow human beings desperately in need? Isn’t that what we’re all about?

Susan Menning

Newport Beach

Border measures are wholly appropriate

Once again, the Lunatic Left is lying. The parents are crossing our border illegally and are being held in accordance with existing federal law. The parents are using these children as pawns to gain illegal entry into the United States and to gain sympathy.

Thank God for the fine men and women in our U.S. Customs and Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), who are dedicated to enforcing our laws. We wholeheartedly support and fully cooperate with our border patrol and ICE, and will continue to do so, irrespective of the lies of the Lunatic Left.

Eddie Rose

Laguna Niguel

The writer is a former Laguna Niguel councilman.

Actions at the U.S. border are un-American

From Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “A date which will live in infamy,” and from John F. Kennedy’s “Ask not what your country can do for you” to Ronald Reagan’s “shining city upon a hill,” presidents have left their mark on generations of Americans.

Given the spectacle we are witnessing today — of separating children from their parents at the border — I think it’s time President Trump visits the Statue of Liberty.

There, he will find these immortal words: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

I ask you: What part of this timeless, inspiring message are we seeing today?

Denny Freidenrich

Laguna Beach

Low-, mid-rise buildings a better fit for Newport

I couldn’t believe it when I looked at the “Birdseye Perspective” of the Koll Center Residences on the city of Newport Beach website. In addition to the other problems with this massive project, it is completely out of character with the surrounding buildings with its size and height. Is this the first step toward the Koll Business Park becoming a high-rise, high-density area? I do hope the City Council remembers this compromise and keeps these buildings to a moderate size.

Joan McCauley

Newport Beach

Provide free musician parking at the Fete

Congratulations on another great Fête de la Musique in Laguna Beach. We marveled at the wide variety of people of all ages and ethnicities. The goodwill the city spreads during this event is incalculable! But the city should do a little by giving those musicians who make such requests, and who play for free, a one-day parking pass.

Ellen and Roger Kempler

Laguna Beach

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