I am a sixth-grade teacher in an at-risk elementary school. Today we were practicing for the sixth-grade graduation by singing "God Bless the USA." The kids sang well.

We have many nationalities represented in our school, from the Philippines, the Isles of the Pacific, South and Central America, Africa and, of course, native-born Americans.

When the kids sang, "And I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free," I realized again, very powerfully, America is just that — a free land where all may come who seek asylum from political, social or economic hardship. My ancestors came from Europe for that very reason. Today's new faces come for the same reason.

Let us be inclusive and welcoming. Let us abide by the law but at the same time have compassion for those who come to our land. If we do, surely God will bless the USA!

Patrick Jackson