The Representative for my district was quoted on CNN.com about THE WALL. He was hesitant in his answers. So I thought I would share with him my thoughts on building a wall based on fear, poor data, and a misread of what the U.S. population thinks about immigration.
According to a Pew Research Center poll, only 39% of Americans thought it a “important” or “somewhat important” goal.
My full-letter, which I emailed today, is below.
Thank you for your work. I only imagine how challenging it must be to be a public servant and merge the needs of your constituents with your own personal values and beliefs for how best to steer our country and our state.
Though my family and I have only lived in your district for four years, we are thankful for the diversity of the people and for the spirit of community we sense.
I teach at UNG, where you received a degree, and like you, my family attends a Baptist church in the area and even visited your church when we were searching for a place to worship.
While you and I share many commonalities, I can’t nod along with the executive decision to build a wall. Please know, this executive action does not agree with the values I try to instill in my family or the values I feel are expressed in our diverse district 9.
The well-respected Atlanta news outlet CNN.com quoted you as saying recently, “When it comes to our budget, we’ll have those discussions,” said Georgia Rep. Doug Collins. The article then mentioned that you refused to say “three times if [you] would support Congress appropriating money for the wall.”
Though it would have been nice to have a straight answer, I am most concerned with the action of building a wall.
According to a November Pew Research Center report, Mexican unauthorized immigrant population has steadily declined since its peak in 2007. In 2007, the number was 6.9 million. Now it is at 5.6.
The report also mentions the number of Mexican immigrants living in the U.S. illegally has declined.
I know our President has made an agenda based on fear. The goal is to get the uneducated fearful of something. Anything. Right now that is illegal Mexican immigrants who supposedly are on rampant crime sprees and stealing our jobs.
But the data just isn’t there to support this position.
I’m thankful that 27% of the population of our county is Hispanic. I am thankful that your alma mater, where I now work, received a $2.1 million dollar grant from the Department of Education for working with first-generation, often Hispanic, students. And I am thankful that roughly 11% of students at our university identify as Hispanic.
Please know that I don’t celebrate building walls. I want to celebrate tearing down walls with you, my family, my students, and my church.