Don’t turn our backs

To the Editor:

The ACLU calls upon all policy makers at the federal and state levels to affirm the need to welcome Syrian refugees who are fleeing the brutality of ISIS.

Refugee admission is a federal matter, reflecting our values as a nation. The resettlement of refugees is determined by the U.S. State Department. States don’t have veto power in this area. It would violate the Constitution for a governor to bar an entire group of refugees from coming into their state because of their nationality.

We are saddened by calls from our governor and others to turn our backs on the world’s most vulnerable people when they need us the most. If we shut out refugees fleeing the horror and violence of extremists in Syria, we are refusing to help the victims of the very terrorism we decry.

As Gov. LePage, himself a proud Franco-American, can attest, people come to the United States from all over the world seeking better lives for themselves and their children. The U.S. has long been a leader in refugee protection and resettlement. Now, more than ever, we must show courageous and bold leadership, and resist condemning people because of where they are from.

Alison Beyea

ACLU of Maine


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