Today we’ve chosen to make as our enemies those who would be our friends.
Today also, I did a small thing and I donated to the International Rescue Committee. I make no claim that this is an amazing thing or that it is enough. But it is a thing. They are a great group that assist refugees, first to survive, and then to rebuild their lives. Albert Einstein helped begin the group, saying “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile."
The United States has a long tradition of welcoming refugees fleeing persecution and conflict. We live in a great country—for most of us, that means we were lucky to be born here—and that leaves us with a great responsibility. There are more than 65 million people displaced in the world today.
People who enter the U.S., by and large, are not to be feared—they’re way more fearful of us, of a new place, longing for their lost homes and family members. Take a moment to imagine you are in their place. Consider also that they already go through a 2-year process to enter the U.S., one of the most intensive of any nation in the world.
In America, we’re proud of our entrepreneurial spirit. Get this: Eleven percent of Syrian immigrants to the U.S. own businesses, according to a report from the Fiscal Policy Institute. That compares to 4 percent of immigrants overall and 3 percent of people born in the United States. They create jobs and stimulate our economy better than the people who were born here. They are better at being Americans than we are. Yet, our president has banned them from entering our country, along with the people of seven Muslim-majority countries.
Not a single American has been killed on U.S. soil by citizens from any of those countries since 1975. Unsurprisingly, our president holds no business interests in any of the countries he banned.
From the Nydailynews, “Nearly 3,000 Americans were killed by citizens from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Turkey in the same time period. Yet, people from those four countries are still welcome to apply for U.S. visas and travel permits. In a striking parallel, Trump’s sprawling business empire holds multi-million dollar licensing and development deals in all of those countries.”
We cannot claim to be the land of the free, nor the home of the brave, when we cower in fear of the unknown, and let those who are persecuted perish.
We truly have chosen to make as our enemies those who would be our friends. And our president has drawn a line in the sand, but lines in sand are never permanent, always disappearing in the wind. We just have to kick up some wind.