CEDAR FALLS --- Sen. Joni Ernst has talked a lot about “Iowa values.” She was recently mocked for saying that “socialism has no place” here and that she will “stop at nothing to protect our Iowa values.” I hope the senator learned something on her visit to the Meskwaki community: Iowa’s history of acceptance and welcome.

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In 1857, just 25 years after the Black Hawk War, Iowa’s legislature voted to allow the Meskwaki to purchase 80 acres of land in Tama County. Think about that: terrorists allowed to live and farm by consent of the state’s political leadership. This pattern was repeated as the Mormons crossed the state; as utopian communities in Lamoni and Fairfield founded themselves on our bountiful soil; and as Gov. Robert Ray helped displaced refugees from U.S.’s Vietnam War. Repeatedly, Iowa has welcomed and even embraced refugees and the persecuted, especially those fleeing U.S. foreign policy.

Yet, Senator Ernst stands with her colleagues to deny these Iowa values to those fleeing what the U.S. has sown in Central America. This is against our ideals and what our veterans gave their lives to defend. Let’s restore Iowa and American values by electing senators and presidents who will enact them.

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