Dear Mayor de Blassio,
I just finished reading how you compared the plight of Syrian refugees to the plight of European Jews fleeing the Nazis. While I actually believe your intentions are good regarding this matter, I also believe you are making some gross misjudgments in your comparison, I believe these misjudgments need to be addressed, and to reference one of the most famous sayings of all time, I believe these good intentions may truly pave the road to hell.
Mr. Mayor, let me be very clear about something. This is not a racial issue, it’s a safety issue. I am opposed to bigotry of any kind. I consider myself to be a decent and compassionate person. However, I also believe that each and every one of us has an initial obligation to the safety of our own people before we choose to be the saviors of another. Being reckless and kind does not make us good people. During the recent outbreak of Ebola, our screening of people flying in from Africa was so detailed and so specific we even authorized taking a passenger’s temperature at the airport if they had symptoms of the disease. If they showed any signs of the disease they were subject to quarantine. Two people died on U.S. soil at the peak of the outbreak. We treated the disease like a disease should be treated. We prioritized prevention even if it seemed extreme. There were many who felt our government overreacted, but since political correctness and world opinion didn’t play a large factor in our actions, we took aggressive and decisive measures to contain the disease. These actions may or may not have saved many American lives, but since the safety and well-being of the people already residing here took priority, these actions were deemed justified.
Prior to WWII, President Franklin D. Roosevelt took no action to increase the quota on Jewish immigrants coming into the country due to what some felt was a reluctance to antagonize Germany a nation we were not yet at war with. Many Americans did not want a large influx of refugees fearing that their needs would only add economic burden at a time when the economy was already depressed. Subsequently many Jews were not able to enter the country and ended up dead in concentration camps. Yet for many history tends to forgive the FDR administration, even though the Jewish people themselves posed absolutely no threat to American society. If even 1% of European Jews were parts of groups sworn to the destruction of America, the comparison would be valid. Instead there had never been the slightest hint of any animosity from the Jews of Europe towards the US, and certainly none prone to influence by radicals sworn to its destruction.
No one worth listening to is saying that every Muslim is a terrorist, but the percentages of Muslims influenced by ISIS and other terrorist organizations is far too large to ignore. The opportunity for ISIS to plant operatives within large groups of refugees is an unfortunate reality. Let’s say for argument sake that a group of 10,000 Syrian refugees would have 100 members of ISIS hiding in its ranks. To put the seriousness of this in perspective we need to stop and realize that it took only 2 people, 1 man and 1 woman, to kill 14 Americans last week. Imagine the devastation 100 would cause. As much as I understand your desire to be compassionate and decent, this sort of risk never existed with Jewish refugees escaping the Nazis. This is by no means intended to say one group of people is better than another, merely to state that one group has segments that pose tremendous risks while the other group never did.
I feel sadness for the helpless plight of innocent people, particularly women and children regardless of where they come from and what religion they are. However, I do not believe any of us are better people if we allow our compassion to compromise our safety. In the time of Hitler’s Germany, since Jews never that caused that compromise to take place, your comparison is dangerously inaccurate. Furthermore, for us as Americans to believe we are to blame if we do not help these people is one more error in our political strategy. In accepting any degree of blame we are taking some of the blame away from the perpetrators of evil making these people’s lives unbearable, and I for one feel that plays right into their hands.
It’s a sad reality of the world we live in that sometimes doing good is not the right thing to do. People such as yourself who want to help the refugees may very well be well-meaning, kindhearted souls pained by the suffering of others. What needs to be understood is if that causes you to take or support actions that cause the suffering of those people you and other politicians are sworn to protect, it is my opinion you would have made a catastrophic and unforgivable mistake.
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