I recently came across The Gazette’s editorial from Sept. 9, 2017 (“Picking on Immigrants”). I must commend the editorial board for the courageous perspective on federal immigration enforcement. This kind of reporting accurately reflects what is going on in our community and across the country. Placing it on the opinion page demonstrates a necessary independence and call for accountability that is in keeping with a thriving democracy. I am deeply grateful for this call for a shared humanity that makes Billings more kind and less cruel. Immigration is an issue of faith and identity.
Audemio Orozco-Ramirez’s mistreatment by law enforcement and his detention by federal immigration agents are a stain on our society that says it honors families and children. No one questions that Audemio is a hardworking father who wants the best for his children. His crime, as the editorial put it, is “wanting the American Dream.”
By detaining Audemio and breaking up his family, the government is casting his wife and children headlong into a nightmare. The federal government has promised as much for millions of other American families with undocumented family members. These are our friends and neighbors who must now live in fear. As a person of faith, I cannot accept that this is what God intends for our community or our country.