What has the U.S. done to lighten the refugee load?

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How nonchalantly former ambassador Dan Simpson suggests in his Aug. 13 column (“Get Out of Iraq, Again: Why Should America Fight for the Kurds and Iraqi Shiites?”) that Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon add to the almost 5 million Palestinian refugees they have hosted since 1948. These crowded countries have been expanding their historic count of refugee camps with new ones as a result of our disruptive disaster in Iraq and from the current chaos in Syria. For anyone traveling to Jordan, road signs to Palestinian camps that have been there for half a century are disconcerting.

I do agree with Mr. Simpson in not wanting another war in Iraq or any place in the world — but the refugee question seems to be one we push for others to handle. The United States is quite willing to propose regularly a list of countries that should take in refugees, be they from Somalia, Sudan, Darfur, Syria, Iraq, Gaza and other places of conflict, crime, poverty and a myriad of ills.

But what do too many U.S. citizens propose in the face of refugee children, women and families fleeing threats in Central America? Who shall take them? Anyone but us, I guess. A bit of dissonance in the advice we give to others and our own behavior of accusing refugees near our borders of contagion, criminal activity and infecting our society? Let’s look inward, Mr. Simpson.

JUNE K. PHILLIPS
Lawrence, Pa.


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