The ver­dict of his­tory

Walker County Messenger - - Front Page -

Trump’s war on refugees is a dis­as­trous mis­take and a to­tally self-in­flicted wound. “Rather than mak­ing Amer­ica great again,” ed­i­to­ri­al­ized the Wash­ing­ton Post, “it would do the very op­po­site by mak­ing the coun­try small, peev­ish, in­ward-look­ing and heed­less of its role on the global stage.”

One Trumpian trope is that refugees are costly to the coun­try, a drain on pub­lic re­sources, so the pres­i­dent or­dered a gov­ern­ment study to prove his point. But the re­search showed ex­actly the op­po­site. Refugees -- be­cause they are of­ten young, hard-work­ing tax­pay­ers -- brought in $63 bil­lion more in gov­ern­ment rev­enue over the last 10 years than they cost in ser­vices.

The Min­istry of Al­ter­na­tive Facts in the Trump White House was hor­ri­fied and killed the re­port, ac­cord­ing to The New York Times. This is not just in­tel­lec­tu­ally dis­hon­est but eco­nom­i­cally self­de­feat­ing.

All im­mi­grants, in­clud­ing refugees, are a strong net plus for the econ­omy, and that is es­pe­cially true in the ag­ing heart­land that de­liv­ered Trump his vic­tory. A study by the Chicago Coun­cil on Global Af­fairs con­cludes that the Mid­west depends “on im­mi­gra­tion as an eco­nomic life­line” to re­plen­ish de­part­ing young peo­ple and re­tir­ing baby boomers. As the study’s au­thor told The At­lantic: “For the cities of the Mid­west, re­strict­ing cur­rent im­mi­gra­tion lev­els is the last thing they need.” The sec­ond ar­gu­ment ad­vanced by the anti-refugee crowd is pro­tect­ing na­tional se­cu­rity, but again, this is full of non-facts. Since 9/11, not a sin­gle Amer­i­can has been killed in a ter­ror­ist at­tack per­pe­trated by a refugee, and that’s be­cause refugees are sub­jected to ex­haus­tive scru­tiny be­fore they are al­lowed to re­set­tle here.

More­over, few refugees are young men of mil­i­tary age. Michael Chertoff, who was Sec­re­tary of Home­land Se­cu­rity un­der Pres­i­dent Bush 43, wrote in the Post: “Only the most vul­ner­a­ble -- those whose safety can­not be as­sured in their coun­tries of first refuge -- are se­lected for re­set­tle­ment. For these refugees -wid­owed women; or­phaned chil­dren; sur­vivors of rape, tor­ture and bru­tal re­li­gious per­se­cu­tion -- refugee re­set­tle­ment is a life­line.”

The deep­est dam­age in­flicted by Trump’s refugee pol­icy is to our na­tional honor and rep­u­ta­tion. How can we ask other na­tional lead­ers to shoul­der the bur­den of a world­wide refugee cri­sis -- of­ten at great po­lit­i­cal risk, as An­gela Merkel has learned -- if we slam our own doors?

The an­swer is we can­not. “We need to show our friends and al­lies that we stand with them and this is a shared bur­den,” says Chertoff.

The War on Refugees is part of a larger pat­tern, a de­lib­er­ate and long-stand­ing at­tempt by Trump to dredge up xeno­pho­bic im­pulses for

News­pa­per En­ter­prise Assn.

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