As I sat on the front steps of my daughter’s house on Sunday night, watching my grandkids at play — turning somersaults and rolling in fresh clover — I thought of all the children in detention, through no fault of theirs, on our nation’s southern border. My 4-year-old grandson took a crash landing into the grass (on this particular evening, he was an airplane), popped up and came running to me for a quick hug to let me know he was safe and unhurt. I thought of all those children in detention, with no safe and familiar arms to run to when they’re scared, hurt and lonely. My grandson didn’t want to come indoors, even as a thunderstorm started to roll across our southern skies, but he also didn’t want to stay outdoors, alone and without the safety of his grandma’s arms.

All of you people in Washington, sent there by We the People of the United States, get your hands out of your back pockets and your noses out of the statistics of your next election prospects, and DO YOUR JOB!

This is not who we are.

Georgene Bergstrom, Edina

• • •

On Monday morning, I visited my congressman’s website to learn where he stands on the imprisonment and weaponizing of immigrant children by the United States of America — I shudder just writing this sentence. The top headline in the “Latest News” section was a press release titled, “Emmer Announces Winners of the 2018 Congressional Art Competition.” I guess I now know.

Gene Janicke, Forest Lake

• • •

There have been 1,995 kids separated from their parents (front page, June 16) and put in cages (front page, June 18) in six weeks! Jeff Sessions, the attorney general of the United States, says it’s ordained by God. I do not believe there is a God of any faith that would support the traumatization of children, and that is what it is. I have been a clinical social worker for 35 years, and I know the terrible consequences of this action on these children. In addition, it is outrageous and just plain morally wrong. It is not on God, it is on Congress, the president, and us as citizens. We are responsible for this outrageous decision.

Sharon Grostephan, Deephaven

• • •

The separation of church and state has long been viewed as a cornerstone of American democracy. Last week, the attorney general cited the Bible in defending the immigration policy of our country. Am I the only one who finds this troubling?

Janet Coenen, Eden Prairie

• • •

President Donald Trump is separating children from their parents to discourage immigration to this country in order to get Democrats to agree to fund his wall. This is not a negotiating tactic; this is taking hostages and demanding a wall as ransom. This administration is using human beings as bargaining chips, and that is a sick and shameful policy.

Carol Keymer, Plymouth

• • •

One thousand, nine hundred ninety-five children separated from their parents at the border. Children used as pawns to pressure parents to deny themselves asylum and protection. A real change in the attitude of the U.S. is on display to the world. My father enlisted, at age 16, a week after Pearl Harbor and fought in Europe and the Pacific. This is not the country our fathers and mothers fought and sacrificed for. They would expect much better than this. Come November, we’ll unite at the voting polls to take our own country back.

Alan Briesemeister, Delano, Minn.

• • •

Perhaps searches for the missing children of detained sanctuary applicants, who are not “illegals,” would be facilitated if the Trump policy detainment facilities were each given appropriate and memorable names. Neo-Dachau and Neo-Buchenwald, for example.

It’s going to take a very long time for this country to repair the damage, at home and abroad, being done by the current administration. We’d better all get more informed and more actively involved — quickly.

James Wallace, Eden Prairie


Just to be clear, it’s not coming from all evangelicals

It irks me every time I read a news story about President Trump that cites the enthusiastic support he gets from “conservative evangelicals.” No thanks! Every evangelical is not conservative, and I want the Star Tribune’s readers to know it. When will we read about “progressive evangelicals”? Yes, countless other believers in Jesus exist.

The June 15 article “Conservative religious leaders denounce immigration policies” made me shake my head when I read that the Rev. Franklin Graham, “an outspoken defender of Trump,” said: “I think it’s disgraceful, it’s terrible to see families ripped apart and I don’t support that one bit.”

At last, I thought, Franklin Graham had finally come to his senses and voiced a valid criticism of Trump. Not quite. What made me shake my head (again) was the next paragraph: “He quickly made it clear that this had not dimmed his enthusiasm for Trump.” Really? Can anyone say President Trump exemplifies the traits of a true Christian? Those traits are plainly spelled out in the Bible (Galatians 5:22): “… the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” I have observed no such qualities in our nation’s leader.

Moreover, I’m saddened that the term “evangelical” has become so conflated with Republican politics. Please don’t include me! We “progressive evangelicals” are out here in the world, flexing our spiritual values and political votes for gun sense, DACA Dreamers, income equality, climate change and more. We especially vote for integrity in our elected leaders (Trump? *&%$#@!), so get ready for a tidal wave of blue victories this Nov. 6!

John H. Prin, Eden Prairie


Just look to New York ­— might that be the path we’re on?

I smiled when I read the headline for the June 18 editorial — “Urban density brings variety and vitality,” having just read the lead article in the July issue of Harper’s titled “The Death of a Once Great City: The fall of New York and the urban crisis of affluence.” The author, Kevin Baker, bemoans the loss of bookstores, galleries, ethnic restaurants, meat markets, small movie theaters, etc., due to the proliferation of high-rise condominiums and apartments. This has led to less, not more, affordable housing.

He writes primarily about New York’s Upper West Side, where, apparently, he lives. The increased density has also led to an overall increase in the cost of housing and rentals. One small laundry has seen its rent increased from $7,000 a month to $21,000. The average condo and co-op sale price in Manhattan “shot up past the $2 million mark … while a townhouse will cost you $6.28 million.” “A visit to the Central Park Zoo, once free, now costs $18 per adult, $13 per child.” “A ticket to the Bronx Zoo “costs $36.95 for all ‘adults’ over the age of 12.”

Of course, Minneapolis is not New York City. Admittedly, we should use an “as applied” test to generalizations such as these. The Star Tribune Editorial Board’s specific points may be quite valid. I agree with the observations about Edina’s actions in denying rezoning for a new mixed-use building near Southdale. Yet, some lessons might be learned from Baker’s essay.

Edward J. Schwartzbauer, Edina