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Open Letter from Julie Griffith


Dear Phoenix Residents,

I have learned a great deal in my migration class this semester. I went into it thinking I had a pretty open mind. I thought I was accepting of my fellow human beings, but I have learned that I (and probably most of us) have a lot learn and change. Our own character development is an ongoing process. We need to constantly be educating ourselves, like taking a migration class, so that our views and beliefs are fair and just to all people.

I think the one key point that I have kept coming back to in this class is that all people have certain basic needs that must be met. The fulfillment of these needs seems to be a key as to why so many people migrate. It isnít always the pursuit of the elusive "better life", but for many it is a matter of survival at all. When your home land has no work and no way to make money to feed yourself and your children, there is little choice but to leave and look elsewhere.

It seems like so many governments, including our own, seem to be missing the big picture. Donít we all have the right to safety and security? Donít we all just need to eat and work and feel valued as a person? The treatment so many immigrants, legal or not, receive at the hands of other human beings is basically criminal. Do all human beings have basic rights or not? The world outlines guidelines for treatment of other people in situations like war, and then these rules are casually broken as if they donít exist.

I believe that awareness and education are the keys that will lead to action. And while education and awareness are being acquired, compassion must always be kept at the forefront. People always say, "What if that was your father, mother, son, daughter, or some other family member?" We certainly seem to be able to understand things when they are put in that context. So, keeping compassion and kindness always in mind when dealing with anyone, this could be a basic starting point for everyone.

I hope I can take these lessons I have learned out into the world in my daily life. I am going to certainly try to always remember these basic tenets.


Julie Griffith

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