Since Jan. 20, I have read the news with anxiety. The president’s ban on refugees makes me worried about how quickly our country is dismantling its place as a country that welcomes those in need.
I’ve been thinking of those aboard the St. Louis, who were turned away and sent back to Europe in 1939, who had a chance to live and build new lives but were turned away and sent to their deaths. We live in a time when America has the opportunity to be a leader in the world’s refugee crisis. But once again we are falling short.
There should be truth in Emma Lazarus’s lines: “Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, / I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” The president’s ban on Muslim refugees from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen extinguishes this flame.
As a teacher, I taught refugees from Bosnia and various countries in the Middle East. Their stories were heartbreaking, but their families were eager to find stability in Idaho. I encourage our leaders to remember the many ways refugees contribute to America. This is our opportunity to uphold America’s principles and to stand up for what is right.
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Brandon Bolyard, Caldwell