Anchorage to immigrants and refugees: We’ve got your back

Here’s something that might surprise you — distant, snowbound Anchorage, Alaska, is home to the most diverse census tract in America. Refugees hailing from everywhere from Iran to Cuba to the Democratic Republic of Congo call it home.

So it’s not for nothing that hundreds of denizens braved the mid-winter chill to protest Trump’s ban on entry for people from seven Muslim majority nations, according to the Anchorage Daily News.

“This city is going to make sure that every person here, regardless of how you arrived or when you arrived is afforded the protections of the law and the protections of law enforcement,” Mayor Ethan Berkowitz, himself the son and grandson of immigrants and refugees, told the crowd.

I had the great luck to intern for Berkowitz, very briefly, in high school, and it’s a joy to see him still providing courageous leadership. After my Alaskan upbringing, I ran as hard and as fast as I could — away from what I judgmentally saw as isolation and a lack of local interest in the outside world. It’s nice to once again be reminded how limited and ignorant my own perspective was!


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