I woke today to find that, in the wake of the attack in Paris, a number of Governors are trying to keep Syrian refugees out of their states, apparently out of fear that a terrorist or two might slip through the tens of thousands of desperate souls seeking freedom:
After the terror attacks in Paris that killed at least 129 people, the placement of refugees fleeing Syria has come under scrutiny as at least 18 governors — mostly Republicans — have said they do not want the refugees in their state.
So this is a good time for them to re-read The New Colossus, that being the extraordinary Emma Lazarus poem that they learned about in grade school that sits affixed to the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor — a statue that was a gift from France.
And it is a reminder to those governors that this is a city of a thousand cities, and this is a nation of a thousand nations, and that the vast diversity of our citizenry is what makes us stronger, not weaker.
If ever there was a group of “wretched refuse,” homeless and tempest-tost, it is the refugees of a war that has already claimed over 200,000 lives:
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “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!”