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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. 22nd, 2015 05:01 pm (UTC)
Re: Surprised...
I love you even more for this post.

It amazes me that people can witness the horrors of Paris and Mali and then fail to recognise that it's exactly these kinds of atrocities that people are fleeing.

Yes, there are people from other countries who are faking their refugee status, taking advantage of goodwill as an opportunity to migrate. That's always a risk in any refugee crisis. But it doesn't mean the people fleeing crucifixion and beheading and sex slavery aren't real. It doesn't mean we don't have an obligation to help them.

As for the notion that ISIS will infiltrate Western countries under the pretext of the refugee crisis - what a truly absurd idea. Wake up. We live in an age of intercontinental air travel. Every day, thousands of planes take off, crossing borders and carrying 8 million people to their destinations. If terrorists want to enter the UK, France, Germany, Spain, the US, or elsewhere... they don't need to go to the arduous lengths of the refugee process. They need only pretend to be tourists. Or easier still, they can just recruit disaffected, angry citizens. So shutting the door on refugees when they need our help the most only aids ISIS in their barbarity.

ISIS are doing the very things that will terrorise you the most and you're all falling for it completely. Snap out of it. You're losing your mind in the face of fear.


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

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