When the pioneers, many of whom are our forefathers, migrated from Illinois to the west in 1847, they were seeking freedom from oppression to exercise their faith in peace. They wanted to be free, to speak, live and pray as they believed they should.

The pioneers risked all to migrate west, not to the United States but to Mexico. They sought escape from the oppression imposed upon them by the United States and, in particular, the state of Illinois.

Members of our congressional delegation have forgotten their roots when they blindly support the present administration in oppressing others seeking freedom. Those coming to the United States risk all because we are the land of opportunity.

Read the words inscribed on the Statue of Liberty, which read in part, “Give me your tired, your poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” That is who we are, we should not forget our roots.

Most of us are children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of those who (a) immigrated to the United States seeking freedom to live in peace, and (b) immigrated to Mexico for the same reasons.

Yes there are holes in our immigration laws that need to be addressed. However, tearing young children from their parents is not the answer, putting people in cages and unfit quarters is not the answer. We are better than that.

When we cruelly placed Japanese Americans in internment camps during World War ll, at least they had running water and living quarters for their families. Take a look at the pictures of Topaz, Utah. The cruelty of the present administration as to its treatment immigrants along our southern border reminds me of the stories my grandparents told me of the German concentration camps of World War ll.

We need as Americans and, particularly, as Utahns to see that history need not repeat itself, we need to learn from the past and make sure the future is better for all who seek protection from our outstretched hands, not our clenched fists.

Bruce Cohne, Salt Lake City