Friday, July 25, 2014
A defining moment for compassion

Imagine a world where children are not safe at home.

Imagine a world where police have no control over violence, gangs rule the streets, and children are sold.

Imagine a world where parents know their child's best chance for survival is to travel north on a most dangerous journey without them.

Imagine your own child crossing the Rio Grande alone on a raft, or in the hands of smugglers, or watching other children murdered or raped.

This is difficult, if even possible, to imagine. Yet this is reality for tens of thousands of children — somebody's child, somebody's brother or sister, somebody's grandchild.

We cannot turn our backs on this situation and act with indifference or neglect.

This is a defining moment. Our behavior now is a reflection of who we are as individuals and as a society. Is it is absurd to think that accepting a thousand children, temporarily, at Camp Edwards will somehow damage our community. I stand with many neighbors who have come forward in a time of need, in the spirit of our nation's history and our social compact.

Immigration reform is necessary on a national level to prevent situations such as this, but now is not the time for that debate. Now is the time to act from the heart in a way that is consistent with our values and our conscience, consistent with the Scriptures that many of us strive to live by.

I join the growing chorus of voices demanding that we act according to our faith, from a place of love and compassion. I support Gov. Patrick's offer to receive these children at Camp Edwards, which is Senate President Therese Murray's strong position as well, and stand ready to help in whatever way possible. I echo the excellent editorial in this newspaper (July 22) and proudly join an inspiring coalition of religious and civic leaders who understand this moment for the humanitarian opportunity it presents.

Daniel Wolf, D-Harwich, is the state senator for the Cape and Islands District.