Our family came to the U.S. in 1964 and we called ourselves “refugiados” or refugees.
The U.S. accepted us as refugees from a communist state.
Therefore, I’ve always been very sensitive about refugees from other lands or places. I look at them and see a lot of ourselves in their faces. I see the young boys and remember that I was once a young boy watching my parents fill out paper forms at The Freedom Tower in Miami.
The Syrian situation is very different from our experience in a couple of ways:
First, we came in a very orderly way. I understand that the Mariel experience of the summer of 1980 was chaotic but that was the exception rather than the rule.
Most Cubans came here in the Freedom Flights of 1965-75. There were two planes that landed in Miami and brought generally families, mom, dad and kids. They were greeted usually by family members who put them up at their homes until father had a job. There were lots of Cubans willing to hire Cubans in Miami so work came fast for our fathers and uncles. These Cubans integrated very quickly to the Miami scene and contributed greatly to the local economy and politics. It didn’t take long before mothers were angry that their kids were forgetting their Spanish!
Second, most of us were willing to integrate. We grew up watching “The Lone Ranger” and “Rin tin tin” in Spanish. We were also huge baseball fans, another connection to U.S. culture. Most importantly, we were so grateful that the U.S. had given us a second chance. We embraced America in a very unique way.
Today’s Syrian refugees, or any other refugees from that region, will not be greeted by families or a culture that they understand. There are already reports that some are missing in Louisiana or that we are having a hard time identifying them:
A Syrian refugee relocated to Louisiana has already gone missing, but the group accommodating them isn’t taking responsibility.
WBRZ has learned Catholic Charities helped the refugee who settled in Baton Rouge, but said the immigrant left for another state after a couple of days, and they don’t know where the refugee went since they don’t track them.
“We’re at the receiving end,” Chad Aguillard, executive director of Catholic Charities, says. “We receive them, we welcome them into our community and help them resettle. There has been a lot of commotion and fear with Syrians. The fear is justified, but we have to check that against reality.”
State leaders are upset after the federal governor began relocating Syrian refugees in the state without notifying them.
“This is a federal program, and it was their responsibility, as the governor has stated, that they should have notified myself or governor directly,” according to the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management Director Kevin Davis.
Last week, a Texas refugee services group detailed what they give to those the Obama administration are bringing into America.
Liberty News recently published an audio recording it says is a phone call between a representative of Refugee Services of Texas and a man posing as a potential volunteer.
The services detailed in the call — being paid for by U.S. taxpayers — is staggering.
I am not saying that we should shut the door or refuse to take any of them. At the same, the U.S. has every right to demand information, specially from young men travelling alone. In fact, I would deny entrance to young men for fear that they may be connected to terrorists.
We’ve seen in Europe how political correctness has created all kinds of problems with thousands of refugees.
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