BREAKING: Texas will not accept any Syrian refugees & I demand the U.S. act similarly. Security comes first. https://t.co/uE34eluXYd
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) November 16, 2015
Like so many other governors, Abbot is fueling anti-refugee hysteria and echoing the bigotry which is the lifeblood of the GOP. He, like all the other governors pushing the same line know two things:
1. They don’t actually have the right to dictate where any refugee chooses to live once their entry into the U.S. has been accepted; and
2. Texas, like most other states, is now already the home for refugees from Syria and other countries that trigger xenophobic paranoia.
What the fear-mongers and those they influence need to do to get a grip on themselves, is to hear the stories of the people they want to shut out — stories that would likely move the hearts of even the most cold-hearted conservatives.
The Guardian reported in September: Faez knew it was time to get out of Syria the day a stranger saved his life as he made his way to work.
It was April 2013, and he was walking to his job at a healthcare company in the southern city of Deraa. Sometimes his mother would accompany him because then the soldiers were less likely to bother him.
On this day, however, Faez was alone. As he neared a government checkpoint, he found himself cornered by soldiers who were pursuing a young man.
“They thought that I knew the person they were chasing. They arrested four or five of us, and started calling us names. They threatened to shoot us,” he said.
That was when the stranger appeared and vouched for a man she had never met. “An old lady came by, crying and pleading with the soldiers to let us go. She said: ‘He’s my son,’” he said. Faez never found out who the woman was, but he is convinced that her intervention saved his life.
A couple of days later, Faez and his wife, Shaza, packed a suitcase and fled to Jordan. Their escape started a process that eventually saw them celebrate their fourth wedding anniversary last weekend in a small apartment in a Dallas suburb, watching TV news with images of Syrians crammed on European trains – and feeling at once distant from and deeply connected to the ongoing disaster engulfing their homeland. [Continue reading…]