Days before Burmese president Thein Sein was reportedly nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize last week, a report revealed his government troops had killed and raped dozens of civilians and burned hundreds of churches and homes.
U.S. president Barack Obama's historic visit to Burma last month gave further legitimacy to a nominally civilian government that has showcased reforms while failing to alleviate the longtime suffering of about 3 million Christians.
"Coming here, our people have realized what democracy really means, and this is important for us, because in the road ahead, we need many people in our country who understand how to uphold the values and institutions of democracy."
A new report by the Chin Human Rights Organization shows ethnic Christians in Burma's Chin state continue to face systematic religious discrimination at the hands of the government and are often forced to convert to Buddhism.
When it comes to the immigration debate, let's not forget that this nation was built by men and women who fled persecution and arrived as strangers in search of a new home. We have such people among us today.