America’s long tradition of fearing refugees

The United States has always been conflicted about immigrants. Ignoring the fact that with the exception of Native Americans, we’re all immigrants. Every single one of us.

When my father’s father went AWOL from the Tsar’s army Poland didn’t exist as a country – having been swallowed up by Prussia, Austria and Russia. He was actually considered a Russian citizen upon arrival here. Just one of thousands of others, Polish and otherwise, who left poverty and oppression in Europe for a chance for a better future in America. They were treated with fear and hatred once they got here but they’re the ones who built this country’s factories and sent their children off to fight in WWII. Now, no one would think twice about them belonging here.

So when Syrians come here to escape Daesh and the civil war in their home country we need to remember that like our own ancestors they are coming here to escape dangers we have never experienced. Let’s not turn them away.

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