Letters to the Editor

Young immigrants: Why report months-old escape?

Re: “Five teens escape immigration facility in Fife after assault on guards,” (TNT, 11/19).

I’m unsure of this article’s intention. If it is to inform readers, the reasonable time window has passed (the escape happened in June); if it is to fan the flames of stereotyping refugees as violent, it seems to fit.

I teach poetry workshops at the Selma Carson Home and have spent time with several staff members, who have welcomed opportunities for these boys to express themselves and process their trauma.

The minors housed there have experienced overwhelming fear, violence and loss. Who are we to expect these boys to handle their grief gracefully (and above all quietly) on top of the hormonal struggles of adolescence?

I do not condone the justification of violence. But I also question reporting that seems to incite it, even if it is in the mental formations of some readers who often have little intentional contact with immigrants and vulnerable populations.

Prejudice begins in our minds, and for some, it does not stop there. Let’s think carefully about our responses to stories like these.

Abby E. Murray, Puyallup

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