Stand With Immigrants

Jan 17, 2018

To the  Editor:

It is with regret that I write this letter challenging the malicious vocabulary of the president as it relates to his innate racism. I’ve decided to respond with a story. 

Some years ago in NYC, I had a wonderful friend. Her name was Marie Claude Lavache. She and her sisters immigrated to the U.S. after the fall of the dictator Duvalier in Haiti. They pooled their money and made a life for themselves. They became citizens. Their children went to college, law school and medical school.

One of Marie’s three children was developmentally challenged. They were Catholic and needed some extra help to get her, Judith was her name, to classes so that she could receive First Communion. With Marie’s work hours, it became impossible.

I have another great friend, Vincent Licursi, who was living at the time as a Franciscan friar and priest. When I asked him if he would come to my apartment and say the Mass, he replied with an invitation. He invited the family to the church where he was stationed on 82nd Street in NYC. They quickly purchased fabric and fashioned a dress and veil. At Mass, Vincent presided and I helped as a Eucharistic minister. It was wonderful but only the tip of the iceberg regarding the following events.

Judith, who was 12, had issues with speech. That night, after the family party, she began to speak. Eventually she began to excel in her classes at school. Never once was there a concern that Judith and her family were not of the community. They were the only black faces in the church. No one asked what country they came from or even if they were here legally. Someone needed aid. This is the power of love.

This is the America that works for me. This is the America so many died for and were maimed in battle for as they fought for principle.

I stand with immigrants. We need a plan. Banal language used to spew hate and divide us is not American. Rather it is base and useless in America’s future. This president needs to wake up or drown in the blue wave coming in November.

Barbara Truncellito

Barnegat Light


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