I am so sad tonight. I'm not done talking yet, because you guys-this refugee crisis is so bad. Worse than we can imagine, really.
As of now, governors from over half of the states want to ban Syrian refugee resettlement.
Worse, earlier today, the state of Indiana denied entry to a Syrian family that was supposed to be resettled there. A family of three-- a dad, a mom, and a five-year old son.
They had been waiting three years to be granted permission to enter the US.
Can you imagine that desperately long three-year wait? Can you imagine the excitement and relief of finally receiving clearance to go to a place that is supposed to be so full of hope and promise?
Can you imagine then being turned away at the last minute simply because you were born in the same place as the people you are trying to escape from? Because you share a country of origin with the people who would kill you?
I am cautiously hopeful and incredibly grateful that the state of Connecticut stepped up, and welcomed this family with open arms.
But. The fact that Indiana was able to ban the entry of this family is a really big deal. It sets a dangerous precedent, and puts thousands of other refugees at risk.
I am afraid of offending people. But I am more afraid that families will continue to be rejected, and that more innocent people will die while waiting for a safe haven. I am more afraid for the safety of the Syrians who are already here.
Here's the thing about being an American citizen: everyone is supposed to have a voice. And I think that social media can be a powerful tool for using our voices, when it is used well. But sentiment has to be followed up with action. It's not enough to voice an opinion and move on.
Over the last few days, I have been trying to figure out how to use my voice to actually make a difference- to back up my words with actions. I have been on the phone with my governor's office, I have signed petitions, and I have sent emails to my state representative.
These are small things, but I am using my voice. Will you use yours?
Tomorrow, the House of Representatives will vote on H.R. 4038, a bill that seeks to suspend Syrian refugee resettlement across the country. I can't even think about the repercussions of this. Our representatives need to hear our voices rising in opposition. Please, consider visiting www.house.gov to contact the representative for your district. All it takes is a quick email to let your voice be heard.
We cannot allow our country to be responsible for turning desperate people away, for sending people to their deaths. Not on my watch. Hopefully, not on yours either.