VOICES: Open letter to Bernie Moreno

Phyllis Yvonne Dodd

caption arrowCaption
Phyllis Yvonne Dodd

I do not know you, but I had to respond to your television ad. I would like to commend you for your accomplishments and for not taking money from corporate PACs.

I am a social worker who has been working with immigrants for the past forty years and your comments about immigrants are very hurtful and insensitive. They are also untrue. It surprises me because you are an immigrant from Columbia, South America. But you were not an immigrant who was poor and fleeing for their life.

I have worked with thousands of these immigrants for the past forty years and I can assure you they are not coming here for free money. They come to escape death and to raise their families and children without fear.

Undocumented immigrants are not eligible for any public benefits and the general public needs to understand that. Only American citizens are eligible, so please tell them that on your commercial.

People coming here are asking to work and the United States seems to not want them to work when we need them (note: they are not taking our jobs away). Can you pledge to help solve that problem?

People want and need to eat, but climate change is destroying their crops. They are mostly agricultural people living off the land. Can you, as a politician, help turn the climate change problem around?

People want to live in peace. They are constantly worried about gangs recruiting their children as they walk to school. Can you, as a politician, help stop the gangs who control their police departments? Can you help stop extortion and requests for ransom so that families can live safely without fearing for their lives?

If these problems are changed, people will not need to flee their countries for safety, food or otherwise.

Seeking asylum is a legal process and if you are poor and uneducated and have no money to pay off the officials, it is difficult to get an application approved. It can also takes years to process the application. When you are running for safety, this is not an option. That is why people apply in the United States and wait here.

Yes, there are bad people sneaking through the border – attack them in your commercials, instead. Can you, as a politician, stop the drug trade and the cartels in Mexico? Can you stop corruption? That is the difficult assignment, not to stop protections for the victims of the bad people.

As a politician, you could give amnesty to those who have lived in this country for decades, worked for a living their whole life, with no arrests and with a family to support. Don’t spend government money to send them back, needlessly causing pain and heartache to millions of children. I know, because I am the child trauma therapist who has seen these children on a daily basis, traumatized by separation anxiety.

I see the asylum seeker who has been tortured and threatened in their country. They want to work to better themselves and make a better life for their children – in essence – a lot like you.

Phyllis Dodd, MSW, LSW, LCSW-C, lives in Trotwood and is the author of ‘Love has No Borders – True Stories of Desperation as seen by a Social Worker,’'

About the Author