Honduran-born Wilmer Toro, speaks with Congress of Day Laborers organizer Chloe Sigal about the multitude of reasons Honduran and Guatemalan immigrants have fled their respective countries at First Grace Methodist Church in New Orleans, La., Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018. Immigrants from both countries have formed a walking caravan through Mexico to seek asylum in the United States, a process made harder by increases in border security put in place by the Trump administration.

I am responding to Richard Cohen's opinion, "An American Nero threatens the Republic." Cohen asserted that President Donald Trump had "anti-immigrant sentiment" because he was deeply concerned that thousands of unvetted people were on their way to the southern border.

I wonder if Cohen would be interested in applying his open borders philosophy in his own life? Would he be ready to open his home and have any number of folks that he had never met stay for an indefinite period with him? Why not remove all the locks from his home and let that be known to the public? 

Letters: Trump an American hero

I don’t believe that open borders are healthy. As an illustration, many businesses today spend enormous amounts of energy and time proactively creating and sustaining a corporate culture. They clarify values and beliefs about how people should be treated and business transacted. If an employee wants to work for a particular company, he or she needs to buy into that ethos.  Every cell has a membrane that provides a boundary around the cell. There is an inside and an outside to the cell. A healthy membrane allows only good things to enter the cell, e.g. oxygen and nutrients. A membrane that allows any substance to enter the cell will quickly lead to illness and death.

Not every belief system is compatible with life in a representative or democratic republic. The French Revolution is one example of a disastrously flawed attempt at liberty. I would contend that there are two beliefs that must be part of the foundation of freedom:

1) The will of the majority shall prevail.

2) The rights of the minority shall be respected.

Europe has experienced a recent influx of unvetted immigrants and refugees. Do all of them believe that women should be respected? I doubt whether the women in Sweden would give a resounding "Yes!".

I do not take lightly the freedoms that I experience every day, especially as we approach Armistice/Veterans Day, I am thankful for the men and women who have put and continue to put their lives on the line so that I, my children, my children's children, and even a generation yet unborn might continue to enjoy those rights and privileges. I am very open for immigrants to come to the United States who have a respect for the rule of law, and who are willing to honor boundaries and freedom’s foundational beliefs. I believe that there are millions of residents of other countries who have these qualities. But I do not in any way want to welcome newcomers who are unwilling to respect our boundaries, values and beliefs. I do not believe that this makes me a racist, intolerant, or an associate of Nero. Freedom comes with a price tag; every generation has to pay to play.

Walter Hackney


Baton Rouge