The Radical Truth About Refugees, Immigrants and the American Dream

With all the recent focus on the administration suddenly banning refugees and immigrants from a number of Muslim countries (with some startling exceptions), I set out to learn if these refugees and immigrants represented the threat that Trump and the GOP claim. Well, as my 7th grade history teacher, Mrs. Wilson used to say, “‘Tain’t so!” (I grew up south of the Mason-Dixon line.)

It did not take long after I started my research to
discover the radical truth about refugees, immigrants and the American dream — almost without exception, they come here for the very same reasons our families did — freedom from persecution and the chance to work hard and realize the American dream. All the hysteria and hyperbole from Trump and the conservatives is actually more like the title of a Shakespeare play — Much Ado About Nothing!

Really?! Yes, really. For all the talk about Muslim immigrants being terrorist threats, it was just a scare tactic to get votes and distract you from the real issues, which should make you very angry.  (I’ll be talking about some of those real issues in my next post.) 

According to data compiled by New America, a think tank, “every jihadist who conducted a lethal attack inside the United States since 9/11 was a citizen or legal resident.” (You can read the report yourself here.)

This puts them in the same category with notable homegrown terrorists like Timothy McVeigh and Dylan Roof. McVeigh, an anti-government fanatic, was responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 that killed 168 people and wounded 648 — the deadliest terror attack in America before 9/11. In 2015, Roof, a white supremacist, gunned down nine African-Americans at the Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC.

None of these terrorists would have been stopped by the type of ban instituted by the Trump administration in all its misguided zeal. But that was only one report, right? Not so fast.

Quoting from a report on CNN.com: “According to the CATO Institute, not one person from the seven countries included in the ban has killed anyone in a terror attack on US soil in the last 40 years. This includes refugees, as well.” The article goes on further to say that according to the data reviewed by the CATO Institute, “the chances of an American dying in a terrorist attack committed by a foreigner in the US stands at about one in 3.6 million.” (Read it here.)

To put that in perspective, you have a one in a one million chance of dying in a plane crash or being struck by lightning. The odds are considerably worse for dying in a car accident (one in 6,700). (That’s enough to have you calling in sick and ordering pizza delivery!)  Seriously, the threat from Muslim immigrants and refugees is virtually non-existent. Add to that the fact that there are far fewer Muslims immigrating to America than the hype would lead you to believe.

According to an NBC News report (Read it here,)“Not one predominantly Muslim nation makes the list of top 10 countries of origin for legal immigrants in 2013, according to the most recent census figures compiled by the Migration Policy Institute. 

At #14, Pakistan was the top-ranked Islamic country with 13,251 legal permanent residents — just 1 percent of the total 990,553 immigrants who received Green Cards that year, the figures showed.”

Okay, if they don’t come here to kill us, what do they want? The Center for Immigration Studies says that Muslims make up roughly less than one percent of the U.S. population and they come seeking refuge from persecution, civil strife and war. They come to America for the educational opportunities and the better payoff from that education. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

When you look at the real facts (no alternative facts allowed in my blog), it’s obvious that the administration and the GOP have tried to pull the wool over our eyes. Makes you wonder what else they’re hiding!

Stand up and be counted for those who, like our ancestors, come to share in the dream of America!

Let the R.A.I.N. wash away the lies and help us all grow together!

The Divine Miss Bri

NOTE: While I welcome and encourage your comments, they are moderated prior to appearing, so anything that remotely resembles spam or hate gets trashed. 

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Call to Action — This is Our Duty

Honestly, there are so many absurdities and atrocities going on now that I feel my head may explode trying to process it all. And, the more I take in the more I feel that we are teetering on the precipice of a darkness not seen since the rise of Adolph Hitler and the Nazis. You may scoff and say that can’t happen here, but I would challenge that assumption in the prevailing atmosphere of hate and anger fostered by the current occupant of the White House and his supporters.

I just saw today where Jonathan Scott of Property Brothers on HGTV posted his support of the Women’s Marches on his Facebook page and received numerous hateful responses. Fortunately, most comments were positive, but it’s still alarming that there are so many people who harbor such ill will toward women, minorities, the LGBTQ community, immigrants and refugees!

Another assault has been unleashed against an at-risk population with the Trump administration’s new policies regarding refugees and immigrants, which are pretty draconian. It is an attack on what American can and should stand for in a world of conflict and persecution.

Immigrants and refugees from everywhere, and their descendants, built this country.  If not for them, we wouldn’t even be here! Many arrived at Ellis Island (pictured at right). They all came here and found a home, many having to fight for survival and respect along the way. It wasn’t easy, but they did it because they had a chance!

One has to wonder if Donald Trump, a New York City resident, ever bothered to visit the Statue of Liberty and read the words at her base.

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

Now, I will grant you that we have not always lived up to that promise, especially when the Jewish people were looking to escape Nazi Germany before the Holocaust. And now, Trump marks the observance of the Holocaust by closing America’s borders not just to the many immigrants and refugees, but to hope!

First, he wants to build a wall to keep out the Mexicans. Then he bans Muslims from a number of countries, while saying he will give a preference to Christians! That’s an insult to all Americans who believe in liberty and justice. And it sure as “hell” is not Christian in its approach.

If we allow this to go unchallenged, then the terrorists and the fascists win. And we lose! Is it not enough that we confined Native Americans to reservations, brought Africans over as slaves, confined Japanese Americans in internment camps,  and refused entry to many Jews condemning them to the Holocaust? Enough!!!

Those of us who believe in the promise of America, human rights and the Christian principles of “love thy neighbor” and “do unto to others as you would have them do unto you” have a duty to do whatever we can to right this wrong.

I am reminded of a quote by Martin Niemöller (1892–1984). He was a protestant pastor who opposed Hitler and ended up spending 7 years in a concentration camp.

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

You can read more about Martin Niemöller here.

So take action NOW by contacting the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), your elected representatives, and your church, synagogue or mosque. Also, please share this blog with others!

Be the voice of hope and the welcoming arms of freedom!

Let the R.A.I.N. wash away the hate so love can grow!

The Divine Miss Bri

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