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Letter: Meet area’s refugees before sounding alarm

Meet area’s refugees before sounding alarm

A few politicians are calling for Erie County to refuse admittance of Syrian immigrants. This is prompted, of course, by the recent terrorist attacks in Paris. Initial details indicate French and Belgians were involved. Are we to ban people from these countries also? Weren’t the terrorists Muslim? Why not just say no to any Muslims altogether?

We all could benefit if some of our politicians were to meet some of the area’s thousands of refugees/immigrants who make Western New York their home. Hear their stories of why they fled, the tribulations of their journey and arrival, and how they are contributing to the Niagara Frontier. Talk to the people who are dedicated to helping these newly arrived people make the transition from suffering and unspeakable experiences in their former war-torn countries. Contacting Journey’s End, Catholic Charities, Jewish Family Service, and/or International Institute of Buffalo would be a good start.

Those calling for a denial of entry may not be xenophobic but their position is certainly not an informed or enlightened stance. Or could their alarmist cries be for political reasons?

Gary M. Schulenberg