The anxiety that many are feeling about the possibility of terrorists impersonating refugees reminds me of how we were feeling in the 1970s. In those days after the fall of Vietnam, it looked as if Vietnamese refugees were flooding the country. We welcomed them because we saw a human necessity, but we did feel qualms about how they would assimilate, how much they would cost, and whether some of them were actually enemies who intended to harm Americans after they got in.
Now, Vietnamese-Americans are part of the mainstream. Their names also appear on casualty lists from today’s terrorist attacks. Can we learn from our Vietnam experience to understand a new wave of desperate refugees?
Idahoans are brave people. It isn’t typical of us to hide from danger. We are generous people. If a neighbor’s house burns, we don’t ask for references before we help.
If you think Syrian refugees shouldn’t look to us for shelter, a bath and a dry bed, then where do you think they should look?
Darcy James, Boise