When you listen to the various sides of the refugee issue, you hear valid concerns. But, “listen” is the operative word. Not many people are willing to listen because they have their opinions, want others to hear them, and have very little tolerance for arguments these days.
On one side, there is a lot of concern about terrorists among the refugees. It’s a valid point. There have already been serious issues with this. Last year, the Washington Post published an article entitled Tracing The Path Of Four Terrorists Sent To Europe By The Islamic State just to open people’s eyes to how serious of an issue it is. Thinking there can be terrorists smuggled in with thousands of refugees is a valid concern. If you don’t acknowledge it, then you’re just acting blind for the sake of getting your way on this issue.
On the other side of the coin, you have people who care for the refugees. It’s also a valid point. Some people are being pushed out of their homes, or they are escaping persecution. What kind of persecution you might ask? If they are escaping persecution, does that make them bad people you might ask?
It’s the same as when the Jews were trying to escape Europe before the horrors of the Holocaust began and while they were still being committed. And just as Al Sharpton pointed out, a man I hardly ever agree with, by the way, Joseph and Mary fled to Egypt to escape when Jesus’ life was in danger. Those are just two examples of people who had to flee persecution and they hadn’t done anything wrong.
Then, the issue gets even deeper. Of course, it’s a valid point that we should be taking care of the homeless in our own country before we take care of any refugees. Some homeless veterans are sleeping on the streets. Shouldn’t that be more of a concern at this point? I definitely agree that there really shouldn’t be any homeless in America if we’re going to invite refugees here. But, even a statement like that can be a hot topic that sparks a huge argument.
The arguments go round and round. When Starbucks wants to hire refugees, a backlash hits the CEO that he should be hiring the homeless here and giving them jobs. On the other side, celebrities have come out of the woodwork with tweets, opinion pieces, and even fundraisers to aid refugees.
What we have to do is acknowledge how complex of an issue this really is! All of these concerns and differing opinions are very valid. They are not Alternative Facts. They are how diverse we are as a country and how we have differing opinions that we have to find a way to reconcile.
The fact of the matter is that we are a country of immigrants. A majority of the people who live in America actually came here from somewhere else. The millions of stories of immigration can be found at Ellis Island, the countries largest immigrant inspection station from 1892 until 1954.
But, that also means there has always been a policy in place about immigration. It has been changed and torqued over the years. But, it has been an issue every generation has had to deal with. The rising concern for terrorism has merely prompted yet another look at who we let in and how we do things. If we can all go along with that, the issue becomes easier to discuss and the decisions we make along the way will become easier to handle.
Here’s to Budweiser for reminding us once again what the American journey has always been about!