Holy Family Institute is doing the right thing in helping immigrant children

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My prayers and support go this week to Sister Linda Yankoski of Holy Family Institute in her presentation to residents of Emsworth about the sheltering of children fleeing violence in Central America. Welcoming all children, especially migrants in distress, is at the heart of the Gospel message (“Views on Child Immigrants in Emsworth Mixed,” July 20).

Having watched with heartache the nightly video clips of young children walking into our country after a harrowing journey through the blazing dessert of Mexico, I am glad that someone in this area is able to help them. My own ancestors, like those of most Pittsburghers, were immigrants who crossed borders, often with great difficulty. These children are not “aliens;” they are the future of our hemisphere, the Americas.

All reports, both from the media and from religious groups working in Central America, point to the drug trade being a major source of the conflict that causes people to flee. The drug trade does not operate in a vacuum; it has its roots and is fueled by the extensive consumption of illegal drugs in the United States. If we really want to stop violent criminal activity, we must do something to address our addictions. We must heed Pope Francis and look harder at ways to promote constructive development in very poor Central American countries.

My hope is that the people of Emsworth will protect and welcome the children from the border.

Suzanne Polen


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