Letter to the Editor: When reader said, ‘We absolutely don’t want this in Western Illinois,’ what is ‘this?’

chicago migrants

A man and a woman stand in the late morning sun near their tent in a small migrant community Nov. 1 near a northside police station in Chicago. | Photo by Charles Rex Arbogast courtesy of Associated Press

I recently read the following Ask MRN story: “Have you heard the rumor that the old ShopKo building is being retrofitted to bring in illegals from other countries to live/house/etc.? Please investigate. We absolutely don’t want this in western Illinois.”

I was appalled, but not surprised, when I read this question sent to MRN.

I know Quincy is a very conservative town, but I was under the impression it also is a very Christian town. I wonder if the people who fear immigrants are the same people who wanted to declare Quincy a “Sanctuary City for the Unborn.” I suppose the living are a lot more difficult to deal with than the unborn. 

Your questioner stated, “We absolutely don’t want this in western Illinois.” What is “this?”

Is it people who love their families so much they are willing to give up everything they own, leave their homes and risk their lives to try to find a safe future for their children?

Is it people who might take away your job milking cows, picking vegetables or working in the slaughterhouses?

Maybe they fear the new immigrants might start businesses like restaurants, markets, cleaning services, construction companies, etc. We can’t have that here.

Or is it simply that “this” thing they’re afraid of is people who don’t look like them?

I’m not a Christian, but I have to ask myself, “What would Jesus do?”

Catherine Frederick
Quincy, Illinois

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