Tragedy in Binghamton


Last night, I sat down to watch the 11 o’clock news. I struggled to make it through even 15 minutes of reporting about the horrific violence that seems to be happening in every corner of the country. Local reporters were attempting to make sense of the multiple shootings that have taken place in the past few days, while I decided to turn off the TV and go to bed. There is no sense to be made of these tragedies.

My heart goes out to the community of Binghamton, New York after the tragic shooting at the American Civic Association this past Friday. I’m not sure I have the words to express my thoughts, so I will borrow from some of FIRM’s partners:

From America’s Voice:

We cannot imagine the heartache and pain that family members of the victims are currently experiencing, and we extend our deepest sympathies to all those wounded in the deadly attack. While we wait to hear more details about today’s tragic turn of events, we hope that no one will try to take advantage of this tragedy by engaging in despicable political maneuvering that would only serve to distract the public from the real, chilling loss of life at this community center.

From the National Immigration Forum

What happened in Binghamton is a horrific tragedy. It appears that an agency serving immigrants and refugees was the crime scene and our hopes and prayers go out to the victims and their families.

The suspect was obviously deeply disturbed and thought violence would solve some problem he faced, which we know is never the case.

The people who provide services to immigrants and refugees across the country are doing the Lord’s work, caring for our newest Americans and people who want to become members of our communities. We fear that immigrants who use the center for civics and English classes are the ones who lost their lives or were injured and terrorized in this incident. It is all the more tragic that a place that gives such hope to so many would become the site of such a horrible tragedy.

This is a tragedy for America and for the immigrant community. We urge everyone to resist using this incident for political purposes in the contentious immigration debate.

Our deepest condolences go to the families of all involved.


Violence against any person is intolerable and together as a society we should work towards preventing and/or stopping it. Violence against vulnerable populations, including immigrants, is disturbingly becoming more common now that the economy is impacting us all. We do not know all the details about the shooting or what may be the cause of the alleged shooter. We all know and feel, however, the terrible impact of his actions and we condemn them.

CHIRLA calls on all Americans to join in a moment of reflection as we consider how each of us is taking some time to inquire how our family members, neighbors, co-workers, and even strangers are handling these very difficult times. We also call on the immigrant community to keep reaching out and seeking the support and help they may need.

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