African families being denied entrance to U.S.

To the editor: Recently, I was appalled to hear in the news that the federal immigration services will no longer be allowing African families to be united with family members already in the United States. The reason stated was that DNA testing has concluded that many folks, claiming to be related to a particular person who already has status in the U.S., are, in fact, not biologically related. Hence, a new policy denying unification across the board. What an abysmal lack of knowledge, common decency and morals the decision-makers of this federal agency exhibit. I am outraged over the blatant ignorance, ill-will, fear and racism being exhibited toward immigrants, legal and so called illegal. U.S. government agencies are now involved in violent raids, brutality, and countless evil actions against innocent people. Recently an immigrant died in Rhode Island due to lack of medical care while languishing n jail. Anti-immigration feelings are spawning hate-crimes all over the U.S., including New York. Leading the charge are many of our own leaders who fan the flames of fear under the pretext of national or economic security. Make no mistake about it. It is a pretext, to rationalize the brutal treatment of other humans. In reality, however, it is a grave sin against justice and against God, the owner of the planet. Americans of conscience must help stop this latest outrageous policy concerning African families. People in Africa have been decimated by war, famine, greed of foreign nations, and AIDS. African families often include neighbor elders or children who are left without biological families through war, starvation and illness. They enfold them into their own and care for them for years. They are family in the godly sense of the word if not in the DNA sense. Please work to educate and humanize those within the INS and other immigration or social service agencies as well as those of our own citizenry who are increasingly falling prey to a paranoid, disagreeable, self-serving, and hostile world view. Please speak out and insist that the INS stop raids against immigrants. Encourage INS employees to refuse, on grounds of conscience, these types of orders which are a flagrant and evil abuse of basic human rights. We can and must change our attitudes. Yes, we can! Sarah J. Anderson West Chazy

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