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My Position On the Syrian Refugees



Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.



"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

Those words, of course, are by Emma Lazarus. Her poem, "The New Colossus," appears in bronze on the base of the Statue of Liberty. A statue given to the United States by France, our nation's oldest friend and ally... a bit of history that seems especially important just now, in light of the recent horrors in Paris.

For me, Lady Liberty and the words on her base represent the best of what this nation of immigrants is all about. One has to wonder if all the governors (including our own governor here in New Mexico, I am ashamed to say) and congressmen voting to keep out the Syrian refugees have ever visited the Statue, or read the words on her base. If so, they surely failed to understand them.

Of course, most everyone knows the part about 'your tired, your poor, your huddled masses,' but let me draw your attention to some other lines of the poem:
-- a mighty woman with a torch... her name Mother of Exiles,
-- from her beacon hand, Glows world-wide welcome,
-- send these, the homeless, tempest-tost, to me.

Emma Lazarus had it right. Donald Trump and thirty-one governors have it wrong, wrong, wrong.

The Syrian refugees are as much victims of ISIS as the dead in France.

Let them in. Santa Fe, at least, will welcome them.

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Comments

Noe G
Nov. 20th, 2015 10:48 pm (UTC)
Re: Let them stay at your house, George
Do you know how Roman Empire fell? They embraced the barbarians and grew too peaceful thanks to Christians' influence. There is a risk of terrorists sneaking in, not even rich muslim countries which are closer to them geographically and in terms of culture and religion take them in (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE...). A country should prioritize its citizens, after all they are the ones who make it great (or not so great). I am from Europe and I can tell you that most of the muslims living here don't asymilate and live on welfare, they don't respect our culture, laws and try to enforce theirs on us. German girls being told they shouldn't wear short skirts because they may offend muslim classmates or muslims protesting because a muslim woman was arrested accused of terrorism is a total BS. Of course this is not true about all muslim people, if they want to asymilate and live here peacefully, they're welcome to but how can we check who they really are and what are their intentions and approach to our culture? We should help them but be smart about it, take in the ones the most needing help (children, people seeking medical help), but taking them in won't solve the problem, ISIS needs to be dealt with and their country rebuilt that's what we should focus on.

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George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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