To the editor,

I sat in church Sunday morning after hearing the news of the El Paso shooting and saw several brown-skinned families also there. Some I knew, several others I didn’t.

Whether or not these people are here legally, I don’t know.

I do know these people work hard. I see them everywhere, fixing roofs or maintaining lawns. They serve meals, clean homes and do lots of other hard jobs.

A lot of these people try to stay invisible, so they don’t collect government benefits and they aren’t being a drain on our state.

They’re doing these things in spite of suspicions and hatred in order to give their families a safer and better life. Not only are they making their families’ lives better, they are also making our state and country better, too.

My ancestors, Henry Elling, Ferdinand Gatz and Gerhard Lenzen, all came from Germany in the 1850s - Henry Elling near Mayer, Ferdinand Gatz west of Waconia, and Gerhard Lenzen between Chaska and Cologne. All received free land if they worked hard, improved the land and stayed here. Those families have been a bedrock of Carver County since then – just like many other immigrant families have been around here.

As I sat in church, I prayed that these new families, who came here with a dream and a yearning to make a better life for their families will also find America to be a good, safe place. I prayed that hatred against them would stop and that would also be given a chance. I pray that these families won’t be separated and can come here and prosper like our families have.

Will you join me in praying for this?

David Elling

Norwood Young America

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