Editor, Townsman:

We cannot grant asylum to every individual fleeing oppression in foreign lands.

Our immigration policies are the most generous in all the world; we grant citizenship to over 1 million souls every year, grant hundreds of thousands of student visas and many asylum requests as well. No other country can claim to welcome in more foreign nationals or begin to match our financial aid to as many countries on the planet.

We do these things because we are strong, prosperous, generous and sympathetic to the plight of other human beings. We have committed vast amounts of “blood and treasure” to securing peace. We have then assisted the offending nations to rebuild and become valuable world citizens (Germany and Japan). We will continue to do these things because it is right and good, but we cannot and should not feel obligated to fix all the world's problems for all the world's people.

We were not always strong, prosperous or free from living under the despotism of an abusive tyrant. Prior to 1776, the King of England ruled over the New World with an iron fist and subjugated the American colonists. It took many years of suffering under the king, but we eventually worked together in rebellion and declared our independence.

Most of the “Declaration of Independence” is an accounting of the abuses we suffered under that king.

Declaring independence was an extraordinarily dangerous thing for our Founding Fathers to do. They were not just a bunch of wealthy elite intellectuals discussing politics while sipping tea at their social clubs. By declaring independence from the most powerful despot on the face of the earth, they were signing their death warrants. They surely would have been the first to be tortured and hanged if we had not prevailed in the ensuing war.

Oppressed people in other parts of the world must do as we did, claiming and fighting for their own independence from whatever forms of oppression they find themselves under.

We may help them, but we cannot do it for them nor should we deprive them of the fruits of such labors.

DR. JANE AXELROD

Andover

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