By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,478)
“After hearing all the political rhetoric against refugees, immigrants and asylum seekers after the attacks in Paris, we felt that (once again) our political leaders were speaking ‘for us’ but we did not agree with what they are saying. The poster gives us an opportunity to engage with our community in a positive way as opposed to the fear and hatred that so often comes to the forefront in these times. The number of people who have signed the poster continues to grow and we are thinking we will send it to LePage’s office after a few days. We love watching people walk by and engage with the message in whatever way they feel,” wrote Dan Marks in an email to this blogger. Dan and Ashley are residents of 79 Congress Street on Munjoy Hill where the outdoor sign hangs.
The idea and creation of this outdoor sign were inspired by the ongoing national, state and local debates about the future of Syrian refugees who are trying to escape the brutality of the IS. The US House of Representatives and about 31 Governors, mostly Republican bigots, have tried to close the doors on refugees coming to this country. Maine’s Governor Paul LePage is one of them.
However, this morning on CNN cable television, Governor John Hoppenlooper (D) of Colorado stated that no terrorist has ever come to the US through the lengthy route required by refugees – a route that takes two years, at least, to travel. The US screening process is lengthy – and no terrorist has or would take the time to enter the US under those circumstances when there are much quicker and easier ways to enter the country. Others claim that such a ban on refugees is unconstitutional.
Following a US House of Representatives vote to stop the admission of Syrian and Iraqi refugees into the US on November 19, 2016, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D) issued the following press release:
“America has long led the world in providing refuge for people fleeing persecution and violence. Now is not the time to end that legacy. We should not shut the door on Syrian and Iraqi refugees who are fleeing from ISIS’s brutality and terrorism – the same kind of acts that we mourn in France. To do so only emboldens ISIS and the hate it represents…………….That is why the United States has developed the lengthiest and most robust process in the world to screen the security risk of refugees – a process that can take up to three years, involved multiple checks and the coordination of several agencies.”
The United States has admitted fewer than 2,000 Syrian refugees into the United States according to an article in “The New York Times,” on Sunday, November 22, 2015. The article also describes in detail the extensive screening process each applicant goes through before being admitted here.
Other informed people say that it is not the refugee program that needs to be halted. The real source of concern comes from the unchecked Visa program where people arrive in the US unchecked and unscreened as they are under the refugee program.
This the “sky is falling” strategy is reminiscent of the fear mongering the Republican bigots tried to wage over the Ebola scare several years ago. It didn’t pan out because of good science practices in this country. Don’t fall for this fear mongering again!
Please consider hustling up the Hill to sign this important message to Governor LePage.