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Letters to the editor:

Our border crisis is not about immigration; it's about refugees. These children are fleeing some of the most dangerous places in the world. As columnist Kirsten Powers reported, they are terrified. But, of course, few politicians have bothered to talk with the children ("Kirsten Powers: (Border) children's stories").

The U.S. was founded by people fleeing persecution. Ask members of Congress to look at their personal histories. Chances are that their ancestors came here as refugees. How short is our memory and our belief in the words at the base of the Statue of Liberty: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free." Better to tear it down than to demonstrate a lie to the world. Shame on us.

Eileen Elvins; Dana Point, Calif.

Columnist Kirsten Powers, wearing her compassion on her sleeve, has landed on the wrong side of this crisis. I as well have compassion for these kids, but where does the "rule of law" enter into the equation? Immigration rules, regulations and laws for entering the United States are well established and have generally worked for hundreds of years. The maintenance and enforcement of reasonable regulations to protect the rights of legal immigrants and current U.S. citizens trump the politcally correct view of the open border policy that Powers apparently supports. The tactic of having children claim "political asylum" is a cover for what is really a refugee issue. Our borders should not be open, and immigration laws should be enforced.

Keith C. Gardiner; Fayetteville, N.C.

Comments from Facebook are edited for clarity and grammar:

I am glad Christian groups are doing what they do best: taking in strangers and caring for them. These children are future assets to our country, if we take them in now and help them.

— Margaret Smith

Our immigration system isn't broken. We just need to enforce the rules and deport those who don't follow the rules. It's not that difficult.

Julie Felix

We asked our followers on Twitter what they thought of the border crisis. Comments from Twitter are edited for clarity and grammar:

There are plenty of American children needing foster care. It's sad, but these kids need to go home to their parents.

— @fatandlazydad

Proposed refugee screening centers in Central America would only keep the news media away and will not address the crisis.

@jerry_sheep

As soon as people from Honduras and Guatemala reach Mexico, they're out of danger. There's no need for them in the United States.

@BennytheKite

Those Central American countries need to solve the gang epidemic, political corruption, economic instability and hard-core drug abuse.

@roburbina

Is a refugee someone escaping drugs, poverty and violence? We have that here.

@Dena_K_

America has our own problems; we can't take on everyone's kids. It's that simple.

@hadaboutenough2

I think the best way to address the issue is to help these poor innocent kids, and the adults should be deported.

@bobleon12

For more discussions, follow @USATOpinion or #tellusatoday on Twitter.

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