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Back when most of Europe was suffering in the 1800s, my ancestors from Slovenia, Ireland and Germany came over to a place called America where they might start anew. They all supposedly had a poor work ethic, drank heavily, and could never integrate into high American Protestant society. Yet, here I am, an Eagle Scout, writing in English, with veterans of World War II and Vietnam in my pedigree.

As a son of these immigrants, I find the president’s views and the views of many within the Republican Party towards both legal immigration and the plight of the 800,000 Dreamers to be disgusting. If Congress does not act soon, these Dreamers, numbering more than the population of our state, will be deported. Why? Because the president and these lawmakers are afraid of people who do not sunburn as easily as they do.

I have been to 48 different countries in my short 30 years on this Earth. Early on in my travels I came to the conclusion that what makes America great is that anyone, regardless of their ethnic background can be American. Horrifyingly, our president wishes to narrow this definition, forgetting that he is also the son of immigrants.

If we wish to join the ranks of places like Myanmar, Sudan, 1990s Yugoslavia, or Nazi Germany, and define our citizenship by religion and ethnicity, then we should deport the Dreamers and curb legal immigration immediately. If, however, we wish to stand for justice and honor our immigrant ancestors, I then encourage all readers to call our representative and senators and ask them to both protect the Dreamers, and reject any bills limiting legal immigration to already well-off countries.

Dan Turck, Bismarck