Letters to the Editor

US needs to follow lead of other nations on refugees

France will take in 30,000 Syrian refugees, even after the terrorism of Nov. 13. Canada will accept several thousand.

The opposite is true here. The Republicans in the House of Representatives, with a number of Democrats, voted to stop admitting Syrian refugees temporarily to be sure no “terrorists” are among them. Virtually all Republican presidential candidates oppose admitting refugees. Thirty-one Republican governors will not welcome them.

The screening process for refugees is long and thorough, and basically none have been seen as terrorists. The 9-11 attack was not carried out by refugees. It was planned overseas by al-Qaida, and those responsible were here legally. They were killers with money and connections, not refugees. The worst act of terrorism by one person was the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing by Timothy McVeigh, a white American Desert Storm veteran who killed nearly 200 people and injured dozens more. I would also call the school shootings and the recent massacre in California terrorism, all carried out by American citizens.

After the 9-11 attack, President Bush stated that the Islamic religion was not to blame. Correct!

The anti-refugee attitude prevalent here today is worse than the post 9-11 panic. Many Americans seem to have forgotten that their ancestors were once refugees, often targets of hatred and violence.

The attitude toward refugees has gone from a “beacon on the hill” to a flickering candle in a sump pump hole. France and Canada are now the examples of compassion we once were.

Larry L. Brown, Glen Carbon

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