Letter to the Editor

Katie Burns, Class of 2019, SSJ Co-President

In regards to Declan’s opinion piece in the Carroll News last week, I have a few things I’d like to say to hopefully clear up some of the issues that he mentions. For starters, I was sorry to read that he was “disappointed” with the placements of our wall and proceeded to blame it on our lack of courage to have the placements as aggressively as they were back in 2016. Obviously, we wanted to be aggressive and to make people stop, look, and read about this social justice issue. However, Garry Homany (risk manager) and Mike Roeder (facilities manager) informed us that we couldn’t block off any entranceway to the buildings as it is a safety hazard. 

After reading his piece, I don’t think Declan read the abundance of information that we had place on the walls or attended any of our events during the week that would have helped him better understand our intent with this project. People are fleeing from horrific amounts of violence as well as economic disparity (which can be tied to the U.S.) which gives ample reason. What I think Declan fails to recognize is that these individuals wouldn’t attempt this border crossing by choice. Especially by now, everyone has heard of the horror stories of migrants dying in the desert, being detained at the border, separated from their families, etc. Yet, people are still trying to make the journey. Migrants are crossing because they have nothing else to lose. Either die in their home country from violence or lack of livable conditions, or die trying to make a better live for themselves or their families. I argue that it is a violation of human rights because, as stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country” (Article 13) and “Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution” (Article 14) which the U.S. rarely gives out. If the U.S. isn’t going to help out people in need just because they aren’t legal citizens, will our country not become involved in other human rights violations around the world?

One of the main things I love about John Carroll is that there are so many viewpoints on campus that lead to great discussion. However, these are people’s lives. Human beings that need our compassion. Speaking on behalf of the other girls that worked on the wall, Julie Whitmore and Liz Nies, we know who we are, what we stand for, and we know that migrants will always have our support.