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History Shows Errors Of American Thinking About Turning Refugees Away

November 20, 2015

Hat Tip To Rolf for sending me this link.


The thing is self-evident. Refugees fleeing ISIS are, by definition, refugees fleeing ISIS. These are families so terrorized by the brutalities of ISIS, or Assad, or the myriad other groups jockeying for Syrian power that they can see no alternative but to abandon their home country entirely. All the things ISIS has done against western citizens or western journalists are minuscule compared to the barbarism that continues to be inflicted against Syrian Muslims themselves.

Historically, however, turning away refugees fleeing possible death in their home countries has repeatedly been declared the “American” thing to do—if those refugees are deemed to be from an undesirable ethnic group. We indeed turned away Jews fleeing Hitler. We interned Japanese Americans under the purely racial presumption that terrorists or saboteurs could easily be hiding among their number, thus necessitating putting the entire population in fenced and guarded concentration camps. It was only months, not years ago that unaccompanied children fleeing Central American gang and drug violence were considered a potential occupying force so dangerous that critics insisted the National Guard—if not the standing Army—must be dispatched to make sure they could not cross our borders, and towns in several border states erupted in fury after rumors flew that those children might be housed somewhere nearby. Warning against the dangers of refugee children in particular has a long, long history in America.


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