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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.



Nov. 21st, 2015 12:22 am (UTC)
Re: Let them stay at your house, George
No comparison between Europeans that came at the turn of the last century and "refugees" from the Islamic world. European immigrants from the last century weren't part of major terrorist attacks that killed and injured hundreds of innocent people, whereas among these "refugees" are those that committed the atrocities in Paris.

You didn't answer the premise of the previous poster's comment. If you are concerned for genuine refugees, than go to the camps in Turkey, Lebanon, or Jordan. Give to charities that aid those at these camps. There are plenty of ways you can actually help. Do this instead of advocating for a policy that puts the security of the United States at risk. Put some of your own skin in the humanitarian game as it were instead of just pontificating and feeling morally superior to those of us who have genuine concerns about safety.
Nov. 21st, 2015 12:43 am (UTC)
Re: Let them stay at your house, George
Your ignorance of history is showing. Every immigrant group has its bad seeds, its violent criminals and terrorists. The Italians brought the Black Hand and the Mafia. The Irish had the Molly Maguires. In each case, it was only a small minority among thousands. The same as with the Syrians.

And you really have no way of knowing what charities I support, or how much I give. I suspect it's a lot more than most.
Nov. 21st, 2015 01:13 am (UTC)
Re: Let them stay at your house, George
Sorry, the Italian or Italian Mafia is not comparable to ISIS. If you knew your history, you would know this.

That is simply not a credible comparison or a serious point to make.

About 13% of Syrian "refugees" support ISIS. So it is not a "small minority". Sorry, a 1 in 8 chance that one of these refugees either sympathizes with ISIS ideology or is an ISIS operative is simply not worth the risk to my family, friends, and country. We cannot afford have a repeat of Paris here. We should take heed of this heinous atrocity and not replicate the naive and reckless migration policy of the Europeans here.

If you do give to refugees, than great, keep giving and encourage others to give more and volunteer as well. I have no problem with this and think it is a great act of charity. However, we don't have to bring in Syrian economic migrants to help those in the refugee camps.
Nov. 21st, 2015 01:52 am (UTC)
Re: Let them stay at your house, George
13% of the refugees support ISIS?

Sorry, don't buy it.

These are people fleeing ISIS. Many of them have had their homes and farms and businesses destroyed by ISIS, have had family members killed or raped by ISIS. They are the last people in the world likely to support them.

Is it possible that ISIS has planted a few moles among them? Sure. That's what the screening is for.

Life is risk. Every time I stop to help a stranded motorist, I take the risk that he's actually a carjacker. But it's a small risk, and I take it gladly... because it's the right thing to do, and one day I may be that stranded motorist.
Nov. 21st, 2015 02:13 am (UTC)
Re: Let them stay at your house, George
Again, it doesn't matter if you don't buy it, it is a matter of fact. The Arab Center for Research and Public Policy did this poll in 2014 of refugees in camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. They found 13% of refugees support ISIS. Here is a link directly to that survey.

The reality is, the population is more sympathetic to ISIS than the survey lets on. It is just shocking that 13% were open about it.

Very worrying indeed.

As I said before, 1 in 8 people supporting ISIS are not odds I am willing to play.

And a point about screening. One of the attackers so far in Paris used a fake Syrian passport when he came through Greece. We now have a situation where five syrian men were found with fake Greek passports in Honduras trying to enter our country.

So the country is rife with false documents during this civil war, so we have no way to corroborate them with the Syrian government there. So we have no idea who these people are.

I took ISIS at their word when they said they had operatives among the migrants before the Paris attacks. I take them at their word now that there are more operatives coming through now.

If we are to help these people, help them in their own country, don't risk this country's security.

A carjacking is not comparable to the Paris attacks. I am not willing to risk the lives of my fellow countrymen to help people who can be helped elsewhere. Allowing in these migrants, who are not refugees, is not the moral thing to do when it threatens our people's safety.
Nov. 21st, 2015 06:48 pm (UTC)
Re: Let them stay at your house, George
I would be careful about their word. They promised they would flood Europe with 500,000 jihadists. This is an organisation with 30,000 members tops. Either maths is not their strong point, or they are talking propaganda.
Nov. 23rd, 2015 12:11 am (UTC)
Re: Let them stay at your house, George
You consider a survey as "fact"? That survey took answers from 600 people from various countries and 900 people from the refugees. I didn't realize that such a tiny minuscule number of people surveyed represented 423 million Arabs and 3 million Syrian refugees.

You know, if you survey a tiny collective of people in Texas whether they support a Democrat or not, I'm pretty sure most of them will say they don't and even when the polls suggested that President Obama's popularity meter was super low, he still got re-elected for a second term. In other words: don't mistake surveys that question a tiny number of people as fact.

Also, during WW2, Japanese people were interned at prison camps because of the fear of Japanese saboteurs and spies. A similar thing happened with Italians and Germans. What did some of those Japanese, Italians and Germans do? They turned around and enlisted in the army to fight against the enemy which were not the USA.

In every group of people, regardless of their ethnicity and religion comes their extremists. There are lots of Christian extremists and terrorists, but we don't have a problem with them. You don't go out of the way to try to intern them and in fact, most Americans downplay them. Yet will go out of the way to say that all Syrian Refugees will bring harm because of the very tiny chance that a few ISIS operatives work under cover as a refugee.

One day America may be attacked and one day you may need to flee to Canada or Mexico. What if we tell you to fuck off because there is a chance someone in your community is a spy or saboteur? With a population of over 300 million, I'm sure your country is bound to have a few terrorists.
Shawna Phillips Harrietha
Nov. 21st, 2015 09:42 pm (UTC)
RE: Re: Let them stay at your house, George
You can't beat sense into some of these people, their minds are made up. They take their ignorant beliefs as fact. It's like beating your head against a brick wall.


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

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