In regards to those who seek to refuse Syrian refugees entrance into our country: “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.” That’s what the Statue of Liberty says.
The statue, which has been a symbol of hope, freedom and opportunity for over a century, has not been invalidated by terrorism.
Perhaps even more important is that it was written by an American, Emma Lazarus, to go with a French statue. When we erected the statue, we thought that this poem embodied everything the statue represented. I believe that we should heed the promises we accepted from the French, especially now that the French are in their time of need.
Gov. Pat McCrory’s speech, in which he said he will not accept refugees because Paris could happen anywhere, was an affront to Lazarus, the Statue of Liberty, the French and, most important, our own ideals. We shouldn’t punish thousands for the acts of the few.
With two-year background checks and only 31,000 out of 55 million Syrians and Iraqis belonging to ISIS, I don’t see the risk.