Reader says refugees are not terrorists
Yes, we are concerned about terrorists getting into the U.S. But terrorists rarely go through immigration channels and reviews to get in.
Refugees from any country are subject to very stringent screening procedures. For a non-Syrian refugee, the process can take up to 1 1/2 years. For a Syrian refugee, the process presently takes closer to three to four years.
The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees determines that an individual qualifies as a refugee under international law.
Those that qualify to resettle in the U.S. are referred to the U.S.
The Department of Homeland Security has a defined, detailed process to determine if the person is qualified to come to the U.S. and at several levels, and at different times in the process, if the person presents any security risk to the country.
The American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act of 2015 would add even more hurdles to the process, preventing most, if not all Syrian refugees, from ever gaining access to the U.S.
Is this fair? Does this show compassion?
Remember, unless you are an American Indian, everyone of us is a descendent of a refugee or an immigrant, who came to this country to escape persecution for religious beliefs, race or nationality, or to escape war, famine or poverty. The Syrian refugees are seeking nothing more than our ancestors did.
Remember how the U.S. prevented a ship full of German Jews from gaining access to U.S. soil in 1938 as World War II was brewing? Remember how Japanese-Americans who had been productive members of our communities were rounded up and placed in detention camps after Pearl Harbor was bombed? These are not easy memories, the nation has apologized and we swore we would never be so heartless again.
Yet, here we are, doing the very same thing.
We don’t need the SAFE Act.
We need to be proud of our American heritage as refugees and immigrants and open our hearts and our country to people fleeing for their lives.
Carol Elvery and