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Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015

Syrian Refugees

Who are we really letting into America

When Washington begin talking about increasing the number of Syrian refugees in our country by over 250 percent from last year, or raising that number next year to as many as 100,000, many Americans wonder how we will be able to afford spending as much as $1.6 billion on these refugees annually, when we have not yet addressed the record number of American families already living below the poverty level in own country, and the historic unemployment levels that continue to weaken our communities.

Yes, I know. I shouldn’t be concerned with that because of what it says in the Bible: “For I was hungry and you never gave me food, I was a stranger and you never made me welcome …” However, it also says, “Anyone who does not look after his own relations, especially if they are living with him, has rejected the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” In other words, are we taking good care of our neighbors who already call this country their home?

And before you start saddling up to ride that high horse you are about to ride off into the sunset on, please remember that the United States contributed nearly $500 million for humanitarian aid to the Syrian refugees, just this past September alone, and that is on top of the $1 billion contributed last year – more than any other country in the world.

Even five of the wealthiest Muslim countries have taken no Syrian refugees in at all, saying that doing so would open them up to an increasing risk of terrorism in their country. Isn’t that what our own FBI and Department of Homeland Security is warning us, as well?

But in light of the recent terrorism in France, the most stark danger for most Americans is that the profile of the great majority of Syrian refugees to this country do not (will not) meet the profile of the typical refugee family, as was revealed during testimony before a Congressional hearing last month. Instead of family members, more of these refugees are “young, single, males.”

And to add to that: The FBI director and the Homeland Security Secretary have admitted that there is not a system in place right now to properly screen and conduct background checks on these refugees, and soon we will have a whole new set of problems to deal with in our country, as a result.

There have always been refugees, and the United States has always given them sanctuary. Times are different today, and at the root of this Syrian refugee matter is the erosion of national identities around the world, especially in Europe, where assimilation has been difficult.

In fact, as early as 2011, French President Nicolas Sarkozy admitted, “We have been too concerned about the identity of the person who was arriving and not enough about the identity of the country that was receiving him.”

British Prime Minister James Cameron said essentially the same, “[W]e have encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and apart from the mainstream. We’ve even tolerated these segregated communities behaving in ways that run completely counter to our values.”

And while America’s shores once assimilated different cultures and religions into “one nation under God,” today the “great melting pot” in the United States often means only more political correctness. Before long, our own nation’s identity will begin to erode precipitously, as well, just as those European countries are experiencing now for themselves.

And similar to the errors of those European countries, such as France and Great Britain, Obama continues to express indifference, regarding our open border with Mexico, which continues to be plagued by cartel violence, drugs, and other forms of illegal smuggling, illegal immigration, and now, he wants to increase the number of refugees in this country by 250 percent.

Even dyed-in-the-wool liberals must see the parallels here with the European nations and the consequences of unchecked, unassimilated immigrants to one’s nation. The proverbial handwriting is on the wall.

You see, a nation is a group of people who share a destiny, and with that destiny, an identity. The truth is that this national identity needs pride, and a sense of affection that is expressed to the exclusion of any other allegiance. This is the foundation of nation building. As it erodes, so will the nation. This is why it is abhorrent that Obama is not interested in American pride, or in “America winning,” as he recently said.

Mr. President, we believe America is exceptional, but not because of what it does or what you have to say about our country.

It’s exceptional because of what it believes. And that is why, in the words of Ronald Reagan, “We are indeed, and we are today, the last best hope of man on earth.”

Louis R. Avallone is a Shreveport businessman and attorney. He is also a former aide to U.S. Representative Jim McCrery and editor of The Caddo Republican. His columns have appeared regularly in The Forum since 2007. Follow him on Facebook, on Twitter @louisravallone or by email at louisavallone@mac.com.


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