Editorial: Jeb Bush On Refugees

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In the​ wake of the Paris terrorist attacks, Jeb Bush, among other good Christian Republicans, said that the U.S. should screen out refugees who are not Christian. This is beyond imagining. It is cruel, ​disgusting and illegal.  ​

I worked as an immigration officer ​for the Immigration Service ​here and abroad​ and​ interview​ed potential​ refugees. Jeb and his cohorts should read up on U.S. immigration laws before revealing their prejudice and ignorance.

According to law, people are barred from obtaining asylum​ or refugee status​ if they: have assisted in the persecution of others, are threats to U.S. safety or security, or are already “firmly resettled” in another country.

​There is no religious qualification for refugee or asylee status. In fact, the vast majority of the people fleeing the Middle East and Africa are Muslims who have been persecuted by the​ ​same people who are committing terrorist acts.  

Does Jeb not know about the fate of the men, women and children of the St. Louis? In 1939, the U.S. denied refuge to nearly 1,000 Jews by forbidding their ship, the St. Louis, to dock. They returned to Europe where at least half perished in the Holocaust. Does Jeb not know about terrorist acts committed on our soil by Christians? Does Oklahoma City ring a bell? I am sure Jeb considers himself a good Christian, but he should give some thought to WWJD (What Would Jesus Do.)

—Ruth A Cohen

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