In recent Letters to the Editor to the News-Herald, John Marius and Maxine Mantooth implied those coming into our country now are like our immigrant ancestors. Really?

The Immigration Act of 1882 excluded “any convict, lunatic, idiot or any person unable to take care of him or herself without becoming a public charge” from entry.

The Immigration Act of 1891 expanded to include polygamists, individuals convicted of crimes of moral depravity and those with contagious diseases.

At Ellis Island, new arrivals were sent back if certain health standards were not met.

The Immigration Act of 1924 limited the number of people.

The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 set quotas by nationality and provided, “Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens ... would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may ... suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or non-immigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.”

The Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965 eliminated a national origins quota system but awarded visas via a preference system.

As to refugees, U.S. policy definition is those who are fleeing because of persecution, not those who are seeking a better life or a living wage.

For those who would point to Scripture, Jesus did not convey what governments should do, but rather individuals.

Teresa Stang

Lenoir City