Last year the president of the USCCB quoted the late, great James, Cardinal Hickey, "we serve others not because they are Catholic, but because we are."
Don't we do the honorable, the decent thing for other people because we are Americans?
There are people, running campaigns and running states, flat out saying, No more Syrian refugees, not in my back yard.
Said President Obama,
"Slamming the door in their faces would be a betrayal of our values," he said. "Our nations can welcome refugees who are desperately seeking safety and ensure our own security. We can and must do both."Good, so far.But then,
And when I hear folks say that, well, maybe we should just admit the Christians but not the Muslims, when I hear political leaders suggesting that there would be a religious test for which person who's fleeing from a war-torn country is admitted, when some of those folks themselves come from families who benefited from protection when they were fleeing political persecution, that's shameful. That's not American. That’s not who we are."Um, yeah it is. It IS who we are.
Refugees are prioritized, and religion IS one way our country does so.
We expect to admit some 1,600-1,800 Syrian refugees in FY 2015.And that, prior to the current anguish and anger over security! That is a shamefully low number, (and the Republican presidential race doesn't bear the blame for that one.)
allocate admissions among refugees “of special humanitarian concern to the United States in accordance with a determination made by the President after appropriate consultation.”F'rinstance,
• Priority 1 – Individual cases referred to the program by virtue of their circumstances and apparent need for resettlement;
• Priority 2 – Groups of cases designated as having access to the program by virtue of their circumstances and apparent need for resettlement;
• Priority 3 – Individual cases from designated nationalities granted access for purposes of reunification with family members already in the United States.
The open-access model for Priority 2 group referrals... has functioned well in the in-country programs, including the long-standing programs in X and the X, and in X. It was also used successfully for Xfor nearly thirty years (1980-2009), X refugees during the 1990s, and is now in use for Xian religious minorities, Xs with links to the United States, and minors from X, X, and Xs with lawfully present parents in the United States.and
This Priority 2 designation applies to Jews, Evangelical Christians, and Ukrainian Catholic and Orthodox religious adherents identified in the Lautenberg Amendment...and
Included in this Priority 2 program are human rights activists, members of persecuted religious minorities, former political prisoners, forced-labor conscripts, and persons deprived of their professional credentials or subjected to other disproportionately harsh or discriminatory treatment resulting from their perceived or actual political or religious beliefs.So it's pretty dishonest to claim that there isn't already a "religious test," for expedited asylum procedures.
In fact, I have read that a finding that "genocide" is taking place is about to facilitate the admission of members of one Syrian religious minority to the US. (Whereas the attempted extermination of another Syrian religious minority, which just happens to be a majority in this country, is not being granted the status of genocide, and have thus far been pretty much shut out of relocation to the US, but that's another matter...)
And I don't think it's particularly honest to assert that lawmakers and governors who don't have complete trust in federal screening processes are only expressing concerns for partisan reasons.
That said, the politicians jumping all over this and demanding a "pause" in what is so far a pitiful show of welcoming the stranger at best seem to be having a knee-jerk reaction, in view of the time it takes for screening now, and wouldn't it be nice if people looked into what they are talking about before the talked about it?