Monday, November 16, 2015

Pence Policy on Syrian Refugees Defies Hoosier Values

Syrian Refugees
Photo Courtesy of
Imagine for a second everything you know had been taken away.  Your home is gone.  Your job is gone.  You are lucky to still have your family around you, but even some of them have been killed in violence.  You have to move out of your home land because things are so bad there. 

Your feet are tired from moving from refugee camp to refugee camp.  Your back hurts from carrying your children and your belongings.  You pray every night for a peace that just doesn't seem to come.  You've been running for your life for so long that you don't even know what that means anymore.

Word comes that you have been accepted as a refugee into the United States.  You will be going to a place called Indiana far away from the reach of Bashar Assad and the horrors of ISIS.  It's a new life, and you can make a new start.  Then, the Governor of that U.S. state slams the door in your face in fear and tells you that because of the terror attacks in Paris that you are not welcome.  You are confused, bewildered, hurt, and angry.

Mike Pence did just that to Syrian refugees by slamming the door and suspending the resettling program here until the feds can vouch for the safety of Hoosiers.  

Thing is, Indiana is already the home of thousands of refugees from all over the world.  These individuals have come in seeking a new start from horrible situations across the globe, and Hoosiers have opened their arms to these people with warmth and hospitality.  

Governor Pence's decision to close shop shows a severe lack of understanding and empathy and just is not up to the kinds of Hoosier values I've always been taught.  It embarrasses me, frankly.

I understand I may be in the minority here, but I believe in the greater good in people.  I also believe in giving people the benefit of the doubt especially when these Syrians are fleeing that endless civil war there between the forces of Assad and ISIS.  It's a lose-lose no matter who wins that one.  On one hand, you have a brutal dictator with a cult of personality built around him, and, on the other hand, you have radicalized Islamists that persecute other Muslims for their differing beliefs.  

I put my faith in the organizations that are resettling these people as well as the variety of intelligence agencies we have at work every day in the United States.  When they do their jobs, we are safe.  

Governor Pence, please reverse your policy.  It's a symbolic one anyway.  Be a Hoosier and let's show these people the love they need to resettle and restart a life.  Let's show them how Americans act out of love and not out of fear.


Laura said...

"Then, the Governor of that U.S. state slams the door in your face in fear and tells you that because of the terror attacks in Paris" ...Pleaaaase! He didn't "slam the door", he's asking for background checks to be sure that none of the refugees has links with terrorism AND it's not "only" because the attacks in Paris BUT because one of the attackers infiltrated through Greece in a group of refugees. He's only trying to protect the public, which I think is our Gov's duty.

Anonymous said...

The refugees have already been through over a year of vetting and background checks. Pence knows that. He is just pandering to his right wing base.

Laura said...

As far as I know, no Syrian refugees have arrived in the USA yet.

Besides, I heard in NPR news that background check takes no less than two years. It's not been even a year since this problem started.

Anonymous said...

Jon, well said!