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Everything 'given to our refugees comes from private sources

  • Published in Letters
To the editor,
Once again, Bev Buker has published her bitter and hateful vitriol in the pages of The Sun. I really do not care anymore. She has the right to compose her angry missives and The Sun has the right to print them. I am used to her apparent lack of compassion and also her falsehoods based on either misinformation and/or disinformation. But, one should not stand idly by when she publishes them.
In her recent letter, Ms. Buker advocated better support of our veterans by taking money away from "church-sponsored foreigners who are handed money right and left" While I certainly agree with Ms. Buker that our country does not do nearly enough for our veterans, she is absolutely wrong about "foreigners." I assume Ms. Buker is speaking of the refugees living in the Lakes Region, because they are indeed sponsored and aided by faith-based groups But, they get far from a "free ride."
Since I know some of these refugees. I happen to know some FACTS about them. They do not come to the U.S. via the usual visa application process. These LEGAL immigrants have been certified by the U.N as people who would face persecution or even death back home because of their ethnicity, religion, or politics. The U.S. is one of a number of nations that agrees to resettle these refugees.
The road taken by these refugees to the U.S. is a long and difficult one. Many have experienced — sometimes as children — horrors the average American cannot even begin to imagine, including genocide, war, and sexual violation. Many have spent years in crowded refugee camps before being allowed to resettle in the U.S. The applicants receive complete medical, criminal, and security checks. They are also evaluated as to their suitability to successfully establish new lives here in America.
Those who are resettled are given a month's rent by private organizations. They are given some groceries and some household items — to my knowledge, all donated. The truth is that these new arrivals look hard to find employment. Like generations of immigrants before them, they often take the lowest-paid jobs and work hard. This sometimes includes those with college degrees. Contrary to popular myth, they also work very hard learn English because they know they must to succeed here.
Eventually, they frequently apply for U.S. Citizenship, taking a test on U.S. history and government that many native-born Americans could not pass! They send their kids to school and try to build a better life for the next generation. Their stories are not too different than those of many of our ancestors. They are but new additions to the wonderful American "melting pot" that has made this country great and I am proud to have them among us!
E. Scott Cracraft