OPINION: Smith Silent On Human Rights Violations

Congressman Chris Smith unveils a sculpture. (Photo by Chris Christopher)

When my mother came here from Co. Kerry just before the start of the Great Depression, she said she was 18 but she was really 16. Her brother jumped ship and slipped across the border from Canada into New York where he married a Native American woman. Both my mother and her brother became citizens but they would be deported if they tried this in today’s United States of America.

They came to escape political oppression and to build a better life. Just one generation later, their descendants hold advanced degrees in physics, and are doctors, college professors, air line pilots, teachers, artists and even a Hollywood movie star. However, our family’s story is not unique, (except maybe for the Hollywood movie star).

As a first generation American and a bilingual clinical social worker, I am writing to raise my voice for so many current New Jersey residents who I know and who have come here to work, just like my mother and her brother. They are not criminals and they are not gang members; rather, they are hard-working heads of families who deserve equal protection under the Constitution, the law of our land.

MY current congressman has been silent about the 58,010 non-criminal immigrants who have been detained by the president in his first fourteen months in office. Moreover, even though my Congressman sits on the Committee for Global Human Rights, he has said nothing about the 13,000 children who have been separated from their families and are still being held in detention centers.

We need an involved representative, someone to take the reins that remain slack in the hands of the current legislators who have failed to provide these residents with a path to citizenship. That I why I will make my voice heard on November 6th and vote for Josh Welle who will be a voice for those hitherto voiceless residents of our great State of New Jersey.


Rosemary Venter
Bradley Beach


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