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In his Sept. 9 op-ed “The human consequences of our immigration policies,” Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley is his usual thoughtful and humane self when he paraphrases the current group-think in Washington about immigration policy: “We have no room in our hearts and no space in our country for people facing life-and-death situations.”

Emily Dickinson nailed the question of asylum in an even shorter format:

These Strangers, in a foreign World,

Protection asked of me—

Befriend them, lest Yourself in Heaven

Be found a Refugee—

David Gullette

Newton

The writer is the literary director of The Poets’ Theatre.