Letter: Show that Indiana is welcoming, safe by stopping SB 423



Proposed Indiana Senate Bill 423 brings to mind several recent activities involving central Indiana.

The Carmel Clay Public Library chose the book “Spare Parts” by Joshua Davis as the first Carmel Clay Reads title of 2017. It’s the true story of four Mexican high school boys in Arizona who, despite shaky immigration status, applied their intelligence and creativity and perseverance to win a national engineering competition. Just a few days ago, an Indianapolis newspaper reported that a team of African-American and Latino fourth-graders from Plainfield were taunted, “Go back to Mexico!” after they won a regional robotics competition.

Why are we so afraid of these young people? They have so much to offer our country.

Now there is a bill in the Indiana General Assembly (SB 423) that is trying to punish any state universities that might dare to offer refugees sanctuary. The college or graduate students targeted by this bill are young adults who speak English, who aren’t trying to steal jobs from our beleaguered working class. In some cases, they are on our campuses because they were escaping human rights violations in their native country and cannot go back.

With the status of national immigration laws so tenuous right now, I think it’s premature to try to pass a law like this in Indiana. The concept of “sanctuary” has its roots in churches, offering refuge to those in need. People of faith should support any organization offering the same today, including our state universities.

Indiana communities also have a proud tradition of sheltering freedom seekers on the Underground Railroad, even when the Fugitive Slave Act ordered them to turn over the refugees. Which side was the right side then? Which side do we want to be on now?

I would ask our Rep. Jerry Torr and all the representatives in the Indiana House to stop SB 423. Show the world that Indiana is a welcoming, safe, inclusive state that we are proud to call home.

Ann Raymont, Carmel


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