Philadelphia Lawyers Speak Out

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By A. Michael Snyder and Sayde J. Ladov

We are the grandchildren of men and women who left the country of their birth and came to America for a better life.

We are the children of men who fought in World War II to defend freedom, preserve the American way of life and put an end to the Holocaust.

We are lawyers dedicated to the rule of law and the rights of all.

We are Americans.

As students of history, we have seen the dangers of an isolationist viewpoint.

As members of a faith that has often been persecuted merely because of how we worship, we have seen how easy it is to create a scapegoat to bear the blame for all that is perceived to be wrong.

As active members of our community, we have seen the good that can come from an inclusive, open society.

As caring citizens, we are gravely concerned at the direction in which we see our president taking our country.

We have each had the distinct honor of speaking at a naturalization ceremony, witnessing the awe on the faces of our new citizens.

We firmly believe that America is a greater country because it has always welcomed the stranger to our shores.

We firmly believe that the diversity of our country is a strength, not a weakness.

We firmly believe that America is great because of the lasting values held by its inhabitants, namely the values of hard work, honesty, decency and a respect for others.

We are not un-American because we speak critically of that with which we disagree; rather, we know that respectful criticism is necessary for a free society.

We are not disloyal because we stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves.

We are not closing our eyes to reality when we decry actions that deprive the rights of lawful residents, refugees and immigrants without any attempt at due process.

We respect the fact that there are those who would see our way of life destroyed; however, we know that when we acknowledge the values of our founders, a greater good is achieved.

All these things make us Americans.

As Americans, we are concerned.

A. Michael Snyder, a retired judge, is chancellor of the Louis D. Brandeis Law Society. Sayde J. Ladov is president of the Louis D. Brandeis Law Society Foundation.

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