Letter: Commissioners, residents need to welcome refugees

The commissioners of Fillmore County are aware of the possibility that if nothing is done, refugees from other countries would be blocked from settling in our county. The White House issued Executive Order 13888 requiring governors AND local officials to provide written consent to opt into resettling refugees in their states and localities.

I urge you to support refugee resettlement. This state and county have a very long history of welcoming people – virtually all our ancestors came here from another country. Only our First Nation brothers and sisters can claim never to have been refugees. It only makes sense that we welcome others to the same opportunity to seek a better life as we ourselves were welcomed through our ancestors.

The precedent for welcoming strangers, immigrants and refugees predates even the long history of Minnesotans; the Bible includes numerous references and instructions to welcome and treat well those who are strangers and foreigners. Even before the time of Jesus, the Hebrew people were told “the great, mighty, and awesome God … enacts justice for orphans and widows, and he loves immigrants, giving them food and clothing. That means you must also love immigrants because you were immigrants in Egypt.” (Deuteronomy 10:17-19) Later, Jesus said to his disciples and followers, “Come, …. Inherit the kingdom that was prepared for you… I was a stranger and you welcomed me…. I assure you that when you have done it for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you have done it for me.” (Matthew 15:35, 40)

We, who have so comfortable a life, must also welcome the strangers and care for the immigrants. Please welcome the least of these our brothers and sisters, no matter where they were born.

Pamela Seebach