As news reaches my ears of immigration officials arresting undocumented immigrants, I keep hearing one phrase repeated: "We are a nation of laws."
We are a nation of laws, but we are a nation where punishment is always to be proportionate to the law broken. Separating parents from children, deporting dreamers who know no country but this one, and sending away people who have contributed to our communities for years -- this is not proportionate to the crime of living here without proper immigration papers.
We are a nation of laws, but we are a nation of people. We understand that there are extenuating circumstances -- economic distress, political unrest, threats to life and safety -- that may prompt people to do things that they know are illegal but that harm no one. We know that a one-size-fits-all solution is not a solution at all, but a convenience.
We are a nation of laws, but the highest law of all is to have compassion.
We are a nation of laws, but when we subjugate compassion, human decency, discretion and common sense to the law, we have made an idol of the law, made fear our master, and set ourselves on the road toward ruin.
Push back. Remember who we are as a nation, and don't let fear win the day.
Copyright © 2017 by David Learn. Used with permission.