Open for Business, Closed for Entry

November 20, 2015

I didn't think I'd be writing so soon after my Thanksgiving note earlier in the week, but I had to let you know how concerned I am about the public discourse surrounding the resettlement of Syrian refugees, and specifically, Governor Hogan's decision to oppose refugee resettlement in Maryland.  I've sent the Governor the following letter:

"I had held out hope that you would hold to higher principles than many of your colleagues across the country. I am disappointed that in deciding to close Maryland to Syrian refugees, you have not. We are a nation of immigrants, many of whom arrived in this land fleeing from the chaos and terror of war in a foreign land. My grandparents came to this country in the late 1930’s, fleeing persecution from Nazi Germany, not unlike Syrian refugees fleeing from the terror of Assad.

We are better than painting an entire people with the brush of the few who are terrorists. We are better than judging an entire culture on the actions of a few who are dangerous. And we are better than slamming the door on a whole community of people because of their religious beliefs, especially given that our strict refugee policy will inevitably be tightened in light of recent events. As President Obama said, “Many of these refugees are the victims of terrorism themselves. That’s what they’re fleeing. Slamming the door in their faces would be a betrayal of our values.” This is not who we are as a country. This is not who we should be as a state."