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First appeared in print in The Rhinoceros Times, Greensboro, NC
By Orson Scott Card June 21, 2012

A Letter to Mitt

Dear Mitt,

We keep getting letters from you and members of your family, inviting us to eat a meal with you. I'm so sorry that we haven't yet drawn the lucky ticket. Meanwhile, though, I'd like to tell you what I would have told you at lunch, if we'd had lunch.

President Obama has, by executive order, halted the deportation of "illegal immigrants" who were brought into the United States before they turned 16, who have lived here for at least five years, who have obeyed the law, and who graduated from high school or served in the U.S. military.

He is using this to his political advantage by warning hispanic voters that if Republicans -- you -- win the election, this policy will be reversed.

Mitt, there is only one smart, decent thing for you to do: Announce, right now, that if elected President, you will not rescind this executive order, and that you will immediately seek to regularize the status of all children who came to America as minors.

You know and I know that this is not just a political decision. It's a moral one, and it comes right from the core Mormon beliefs that you and I share. It's in the Second Article of Faith: We believe it's wrong to punish children for their parents' or ancestors' offenses. Period.

Young adults who did not enter this country by their own volition, who have studied hard or served our country, do not deserve to be thrown out and sent "back" to a dangerous country they may never have lived in or barely remember, where they will have few or no opportunities.

And when members of the Know-Nothing wing of your party whine that this "rewards illegal immigrants," your complete answer should be:

We do not punish children who have done nothing wrong. These kids deserve to have all the opportunities of American life, and shame on anyone who tries to hurt them because their parents might have broken a law. They are our children now.

The moment you issue this statement, you take away all the political advantage Obama hopes to get from his executive order.

You also show independent voters that you are not the slave of the ugly wing of the Republican Party -- that you intend to be President of the whole country.

Maybe you'll lose some votes from the racists and xenophobes -- maybe they'll stay home in November. But if the only way you can win is by adopting their hateful program, then you don't deserve to be President, and you know it.

It's good politics, and it's the right thing to do. When your opponent is right -- and in this case he is -- you need to do what Jesus said: Agree with your adversary quickly.

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