Coalition Supports Syrian Refugees

Syrian Refugees
Syrian Refugees
Over the course of the past week, more than 30 governors across the country came out opposing accepting Syrian and Iraqi refugees into their states.  Also during this time, the House of Representatives voted in favor of a bill opposing President Obama’s plan allowing these refugees.
While we recognize the responsibility of our leaders to ensure representation of the people they are elected by, they are equally responsible to set examples of brave, measured responses that do not feed into the fear mongering that divides communities and leads us away from the principles we proclaim our country lives by. As concerned residents of Davis, descendants of Holocaust survivors and migrant workers, people of color and individuals dedicated to social justice, we firmly oppose the actions of the governors and the House.
These politicians do not speak for us as we seek a society that is inclusive rather than exclusive.  We denounce their actions and ask that the City of Davis uphold the values it proclaimed when it became  a self-declared “Sanctuary City” during the Central American refugee crisis of the 1980s by to continuing to provide refuge to current refugees.  We call on our city leaders to stand up for what is just in a climate of fear and xenophobia.
Sincerely,
Robin Datel, Naor Deleanu (UC Davis student), Edwin Edebiri, Nathan Ellstrand, Tracy Fauver, Leanne Friedman, Ann Griffith, Jen Higley-Chapman, Orit Kalman, Alexandra Lee-Jobe, David Lichtenhan, Reverend Timothy Malone, Gloria Partida, Helen Roland, Harfateh Singh, Kate Snow, Tracy Tomasky, Dr. Koen Van Rompay and Rabbi Greg Wolfe

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25 Comments

  1. Barack Palin

    Look at the photo provided, where are the women and children?  It’s all young men.

    While we recognize the responsibility of our leaders to ensure representation of the people they are elected by

    And that’s what they’re doing with the recent bill that will ensure proper screening of Syrian refugees.  I don’t know how anyone could be against the bill.  Thank you Rep. Garamendi for doing what’s right for your district instead of voting party lines.  A majority of Americans back this bill.

     

      1. Barack Palin

        Yes, but I pointed this out in another of your articles and have seen videos where it’s just hundreds to thousands of young men marching in refugee lines, hardly any women or children.  So your photo just serves as further proof to back this point, it’s mostly men, young men.

        1. sisterhood

          My family researched our in-laws who arrived through Ellis Island circa 1910. Many of the young men came first, to find work, then sent for their wives, sisters, mothers, etc. Not always a sinister reason for a young healthy man to make the trek before arranging for the rest of his family to join him.

        2. Barack Palin

          I can agree with what you stated.  But when your ancestors came to America they probably didn’t come from a country embedded with terrorists with organizations who have already stated that they have implanted terrorists in with the refugees.

        3. Davis Progressive

          The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees — which refers refugees for resettlement in other countries — says there are more than 4 million registered Syrian refugees. Its figures on the demographic makeup of refugees is based on available data on the 2.1 million who were registered by the UNHCR in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon. (Another 1.9 million Syrian refugees were registered by the Government of Turkey, and more than 24,000 were registered in North Africa.)
          UNHCR’s data show that 50.5 percent of refugees are women. Females age 18 to 59 make up 23.9 percent of the refugees, while males in that age group make up 21.8 percent.
          Even younger males — age 12 to 17 — represent 6.5 percent of refugees, while females that age are 6.1 percent. The majority of refugees — 51.1 percent — are under age 17, including 38.5 percent who are younger than 12 years old. These numbers were as of Sept. 6.

  2. Tia Will

    BP

    Well I am a woman and you can certainly add my name to their list. I cannot believe how outright cowardice ( under the guise of common sense, or prudence or keeping us safe) is now being lauded as an American value. Courage involves the taking of risks for oneself to help others. It is not defined by putting men, women and children who are guilty of nothing but being born in the wrong location at risk so that we can “feel safer”. Note not actually be safer, as we have experienced home grown terrorists in the form of McVeigh and his companions, and terrorists who entered by means other than asylum seeking. The governors and politicians who favor excluding refugees, already thoroughly vetted, are using the terrorist attacks in Paris as a means to forward their xenophobic goals. I see this willingness to put others at risk for the sake of one’s own alleged safety and or political gain as the height of cowardice.

    1. Barack Palin

      What is wrong with making sure the vetting of these refugees is thoroughly done?  If it even keeps one terrorist out it will have been well worth it.  Are you citing local examples of terrorism as justification for possibly bringing in more terrorists?  Sorry, but I can’t agree with that line of thinking.

    2. sisterhood

      Tia, your reply reminds me of a reply that Dennis Kucinich made in a presidential debate. The question was something to the effect of:

      “What would you consider more important, our national security or humanity?”

      Mr. Kucinich was the only one on that stage who replied “humanity”.

  3. Tia Will

    BP

    What is wrong with making sure the vetting of these refugees is thoroughly done?  If it even keeps one terrorist out it will have been well worth it.  Are you citing local examples of terrorism as justification for possibly bringing in more terrorists?  Sorry, but I can’t agree with that line of thinking.”

    First I believe that the current 2+ year vetting process is adequate for the purpose of admitting refugees.I believe that the politicians who are arguing for effective vetting are hiding their actual desire to simply keep what they perceive as undesirables out and/or grandstand for political gain. I freely admit that this is my speculation since I cannot know their minds.

    Secondly, nice straw man. I am fairly sure that you know that I am not citing domestic terrorism as a justification for letting in terrorists. No one including myself would agree with that “line of thinking”. To bad for your argument that that wasn’t at all what I said. I said that there is no way to 100%  ensure safety and that I do not believe that excluding innocents from our protection does anything to make us, in fact, safer.

     

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      This commentary is naive and ill informed.

      1. It doesn’t matter how long the “vetting process” is if we have no information on them. They don’t have the databases, years of records, objective data gathering, etc. Our own FBI Director said that vetting them would be impossible.

      2. I heard one former State Department official define what sounds like such an official process, “vetting”. This individual claimed that vetting process was two questions: are you a terrorist?; and have you ever thought about, considered, or spoken to anyone about becoming a terrorist.

      3. By your logic, it would be OK to have a 1,000 patients under your care eat food that may be contaminated with arsenic from Siberia if it had a chance of effecting 0, 1, or possibly 10 of your patients. In my viewpoint, there is no reason to take that risk when they can buy food at Safeway, Whole Foods, or the Davis Coop with a zero percent chance and track record of arsenic. … Maybe the bubonic plague or ebola is a better example as this illness could potentially affect many hundreds or thousands as we have all seen.

      4. It is either the UN or NATO which has a protocol for such situations. Refugees are to be safely settled as close to their homeland as possible, possibly in a refugee camp, where they can be housed for 1/12th the cost. Then when their nation returns to some stability, they can go back home and help rebuild their country. Seems extremely logical to me.

      5. Excluding innocents and non-innocents – who have a stated goal to infiltrate our nation – does make us safer. Look at the mess France and Belgium and dealing with right now, we’ve seen this coming for decades but PC prevented most from talking about it.

      6. Islam has yet to go through a Reformation and / or Enlightenment, and this is what we get.

      1. Tia Will

        TBD

        it would be OK to have a 1,000 patients under your care eat food that may be contaminated with arsenic from Siberia if it had a chance of effecting 0, 1, or possibly 10 of your patients. In my viewpoint, there is no reason to take that risk when they can buy food at Safeway, Whole Foods, or the Davis Coop with a zero percent chance and track record of arsenic.”

        Obviously it would not be “OK” if they could buy food readily. But that is not the appropriate analogy. The analogous question for the refugees would be, would it be ethical for me to provide them with possibly contaminated food if their alternative was to starve ?  Now it looks quite humane to give them the “possibly contaminated” food. What those who oppose the refugees are continuously ignoring is that these are people whose lives are at stake, not those who are merely inconvenienced by not having a Whole Foods in their neighborhood.

        “Excluding innocents and non-innocents – who have a stated goal to infiltrate our nation – does make us safer. Look at the mess France and Belgium and dealing with right now, we’ve seen this coming for decades but PC prevented most from talking about it.”

        No, excluding non-innocents makes us safer. Excluding innocents makes us culpable in the harm being done to them. We are all responsible for our own actions. If we can save one, and choose not to our of fear, we have abandoned not only that individual, but our basic principles.

        “PC prevented most from talking about it.”

        And how exactly does “PC” prevent anyone from talking about anything ?

  4. tribeUSA

    TBD–good counterpoints to address the mainstream media & politico pro-immigrant barrage. They have the gall to call those who oppose unfettered immigration as cowards, bigots, xenophobes (a fancy college sophmore word to intimidate the college-educated classes; a sort of bludgeoning by socially unacceptable label), etc.; as though these are the only reasons that immigration is opposed. Instead of calling the pro-immigrant mainstream names; I am glad to see you take the conversation to a higher level by providing cogent reasons to excercise some restraint. Points 1 and 2 have been mainly ignored by the mainstream media–it seems to me we should only let in those immigrants with enough data so that in fact they can be thoroughly screened/vetted. I entirely agree with your point #4; and since the USA is does in fact bear partial responsibility for the plight of these immigrants through the policy of creating chaos and bloodshed in the middle east; which would inevitably breed more ill-will toward the USA and the west and more terrorists; I would say that, for those for whom too little information is available for vetting and for others whose safety is not compromised by remaining in the middle east region, the USA should help out with generous aid (and yes this will run into the many billions or tens of billions) to help them establish decent refugee camps in middle eastern countries–this should have been the huge diplomacy push long ago; and at least should get fired up to a major effort now.

    1. Don Shor

      As of September:
      https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-gives-419-million-more-to-aid-syrian-refugees/2015/09/21/7f0157c6-607e-11e5-8e9e-dce8a2a2a679_story.html

      The United States will give $419­ million more in humanitarian aid to assist Syrian refugees and the countries that are hosting them, administration officials said Monday.
      The new aid brings the total U.S. donation since the Syrian conflict began in 2011 to $4.5 billion, more than any other country.

  5. tribeUSA

    Don–good info.; this is good to see that US $ aid has indeed been substantial; seems it is likely that there will be an need for even more aid $ over the next few years.

    I’m not against accepting on the order of 10,000 or so Syrians for immigration to the USA; but only those for which there is enough reliable data so that they can indeed be thoroughly vetted/screened.

    I also understand the high PR value in Syria of taking in some Syrian refugees–imagine your country is being led by a despot who takes political prisoners and executes many, and at the same time this country has various groups of active violent resistance fighters, terrorist groups, and is being bombed by several countries, including superpowers; so that your country, livelihood, and entire social order are being violently dismantled and destroyed–you might think the bombing countries are also the enemy, but if they are taking in refugees, this sends an encouraging message that the bombing countries are not anti-muslim, but instead are focusing their attacks on the terrorists and perhaps the despotic government as well (though I think it has been a huge strategic error to go after Assad; a ‘strong man’ but if the USA had not sought to weaken him and bring him down, I’m sure the scale of the civil war would have been much smaller, and the entire country would be in better shape). So this way the countries sending over the bombing gifts; more on the way for the holiday season, are not seen as much as the bad guys.

    And focus on exterminating ISIL , not going after Assad–in fact we should be collaborating with Assad, like the Russians! The Russian policy is much more beneficial to the Syrians than the USA policy has been; the good ‘ole bombs for democracy program that has done so many wonderful things for Iraq, Algeria, Syria, etc.

  6. Tia Will

    not going after Assad–in fact we should be collaborating with Assad,”

    We should choose our “friends” and “enemies” in the Middle East with much greater care and stay clear as much as possible except for humanitarian and true defensive action.

    When we “collaborate” with virtually anyone in the Middle East, we are setting ourselves up for major problems. I think that a central reason for this is that we have a very fundamentally poor understanding of the cultures and values of the disparate groups that make up the Middle East. If is very easy to be fooled by superficial appearance and similarities and to misread intentions. This I know from deep personal experience as well as my following of the politics of the region for the past approximately 30 years.

     

    1. Don Shor

      We should be working to replace Assad as quickly and smoothly as possible. He and his family are far more destabilizing to the region than ISIS. He is a genocidal dictator who needs to be brought up on war crimes charges. Assad is creating terrorists faster than anyone by terrorizing his population. “Collaborating with Assad” would be compounding folly.

  7. Tia Will

    Don

    We should be working to replace Assad as quickly and smoothly as possible”

    Not necessarily disagreeing….but who or what group would you recommend as his successor ?

    1. Miwok

      Don, this is the same argument people made when Hussein was challenged. People from the Left defending a dictator.. Here is another example. the guy might have had opponents if they lived to run for elections. East Berlin is a good comparison.

      1. David Greenwald

        That may have been true of some, but for the most part people on the left were concerned with the overall ramifications of taking out Husein and the potential to destabilize the region – concerns that have certainly been born out by history.

  8. Frankly

    It is clear why the American left is more supportive of a growing Muslim population.  About the same percentage of both support the prosecution of non-believers of their respective religions.  Muslims for Islam, and the American left for climate change.

  9. Miwok

    I wonder how the “minorities in this country think about this, they are not making space for these “refugees”. But they vet the undocumented workers as they disrupt the economy by faking documentation and using other peoples’ SSNs. Are the H1B workers complaining? Hispanics? Blacks? Seems like they all have their agenda, and Syrians are not part of that.

    The other thing I would like to see is these people who advocate for all these people coming into the country regardless of situation is for them to make a room for them, at their own expense, and deal with them as their brothers’ keepers. If they are getting paid to care for them or their cause, they are uninterested and opposed. When they have to leave school to make room for another Syrian Refugee, will they be as zealous?

  10. Tia Will

    Miwok

    The other thing I would like to see is these people who advocate for all these people coming into the country regardless of situation”

    I have a couple of thoughts about your post.

    1. I have heard of no one advocating for “all these people coming into the country regardless of situation”. I have heard many, myself included, advocating for accepting refugees who are fleeing for their lives whether from Syria or Honduras or Guatemala.

    2. Yes, there are those amongst us those who offer our own time, possessions and properties to help these refugees. My recent article was about several such groups. So your answer is yes, there are people willing to share what they have in order to help others. But, so far, too few. Again, we have the wealth, we have the ability, what we do not have is the will. And apparently many have abandoned the principles that are the underpinning of the greatness of this country.

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