Immigrants belong; hate does not

To the editor,

Last week, I went down to Mancos with four other members of the Durango Indivisibles Immigration Subcommittee to attend a public meeting to inform folks what the Methodist church’s sanctuary for Rosa Sabido means. The pastor of the church opened the meeting by explaining his – and his church’s – decision. “We decided, that as Christians, we had to choose between the government’s decision to deport our neighbor with all its rationale and reasonings about the law of the land, and Jesus’ response (Matthew 22:37-39) to the question ‘What is the great commandment?’ He said, and we all know it, that we must love God heart, soul and mind, and love our neighbor as ourselves. So we voted to offer Rosa sanctuary in our church.”

Rosa was with us in the meeting via a skype link from the church, and her parents, U.S. citizens, were with us too. Because she was born in Mexico and came with her parents to the United States as a child, her status has been in bureaucratic confusion for her whole life. You can get the details at www.rosabelongshere.org.

There was a panel of speakers, including Rosa via the skype, answering questions for about an hour. It was beautiful to be there, a blessing really. Here are people quietly doing what needs to be done. Polite but firm. Clear and at ease. At the end of the meeting, Rosa said why she belongs here. I am paraphrasing from memory and wish I had the transcript. But she brought tears to my eyes, saying “I belong here because I love this country and these people; because I have been blessed to know the countryside and the neighbors who formed me, because it is home.”

Suddenly it was clear to me why those who do not love this country, or the people who do love it, want to deport her. And why we have to find a broom and sweep the ruin and start building again. Please contact our senators and Rep. Tipton and tell them Rosa belongs here!

– Jim Watt, Bayfield