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.
Brandon Bolyard, Caldwell