The frightened talk of banning Syrian refugees reminds me of April 1975, when South Vietnam fell to the Communist forces and over 130,000 men, women and children were put to flight. We took them in and brought those refugees to Guam for vetting, then moved them to one of four camps built and operated by the DoD. I worked with them at the camp in north Florida at Eglin AFB. We oriented the refugees to American ways, even showing travelogues from each state to help them decide where to move.
I heard civilians expressing fear of Viet Cong guerrillas sneaking in with the refugees, just like I hear about ISIS today. This idea is nonsense. It didn’t happen then and it won’t happen today because our vetting system is even better. Those Vietnamese refugees came over 40 years ago and their progeny now number 1.6 million Americans with over 1,100 living right here in Ada County.
We’ve done this successfully before, there is no reason we cannot do it again, and in the process, earn some global respect for our humanitarian efforts while restoring pride in ourselves as a nation dedicated to the principles of liberty and freedom.
Mike Sciales, Boise