By now, you’ve probably heard about President Obama’s plan to admit thousands of Syrian refugees into the country. In response, several state leaders, including the governors of Texas, Alabama, Louisiana, and Indiana, have officially proclaimed that their states will not be accepting any of these refugees.
To which I say: Good for them! Thank you for taking a stand. If America accepts Syrian refugees, who are we going to let in next: The tired? The poor? The huddled masses yearning to breathe free?
These are not the principles that America was founded upon. If we let in these Syrian refugees fleeing violence and oppression in their home country, we might as well put a big sign on our country telling the tired, the poor, and the huddled masses that they’re welcome, too.
“Tired, poor, huddled masses: come on in!” the sign could read. “America is the place for you!”
Obviously, we do not want such a message being broadcast to the outside world.
I mean, honestly, if we’re going to open our borders to Syrian refugees just because their lives were blown apart by a psychotic dictator who forced them to flee their homeland in order to avoid their inevitable brutal murders, what kind of a message would that send to the international community?
I'll tell you what message it would send: It would send a message that we're also open to the tired, the poor, and the huddled masses yearning to be free, too.
It’s a slippery slope, really. If we take in Syrian refugees, we’ll also have to take in the tired, the poor, and the huddled masses yearning to breathe free. And once we take in the tired, the poor, and the huddled masses yearning to breathe free, you know who will be coming right after?
That’s right: the refuse of the teeming shores. Not to mention the homeless and the tempest-tost! The refuse of the teeming shores and the homeless and tempest-tost are never far behind when the tired, the poor, and the huddled masses are around.
If this is our policy, then America may as well install an enormous statue as a symbol of hope to the oppressed and endangered in other lands, and place it at the very entry point where the country has historically accepted millions of similarly desperate immigrants for several generations.
Would that—some sort of "lady sculpture of freedom"—be a good idea? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
Americans: I know that it’s tempting to offer safety, shelter, and renewed opportunity to tens of thousands of human beings whose very existences have been shattered, especially given that the cost of such a gesture would effectively be nothing.
Instead, let’s return to the ideals that made America great, by rejecting these tired, poor, huddled masses of Syrian refugees. It's what our forefathers would have done.