Refugees, not illegal immigrants

Published 10:21 am Wednesday, June 27, 2018

To the Editor:

It would be interesting to know the poll results if the question were re-phrased as follows: “Was it wrong to separate children from refugees?”

The words “illegal” and “immigrants” do not belong in the poll question.

Many of the detainees are “refugees” hence they are entitled to seek asylum per the legal definition as established by international norms (which the U.S. helped craft.) They, like anyone else on U.S. soil, are innocent until proven guilty. So their correct status is “pending approval,” not “illegal” until such time their petition may be rejected.

It is provocative to carte blanche label them illegal and wrong to ignore their refugee status.

My ancestors came to Jamestown from Wales in the 1620s to seek a better life, and I have been immersed in Latin America as a graduate student, in-country resident and business professional for the last 48 years, so I fully understand the Centro-Americanos´fears, hopes and rights.

Thank you for the opportunity to express my opinion.

Jim Holt
Hickory, North Carolina