How should we as Americans react to the refugee crisis?

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Before I say anything, I would like to express my love and gratitude to the United States. This country has taken me in as a refugee seven years ago and last year I not only graduated from college but also humbly received a US citizenship.

Like many other people, my family chose to come to the United States for one reason only: the search for freedom and a better life. For many decades now, America has served as a beacon of hope and freedom for those outside her borders, and as a land of limitless opportunity for those risking everything to seek a better life. Having said that, I have never been more disappointed than I am at the moment because of some of the ignorant comments I heard this past week-end following the tragic events that took place in Paris.

Not all refugees are terrorists, not all Muslims are evil and America is not at war with Islam. In fact, some of my greatest friends are Muslims. And they are all kind, thoughtful and generous human beings. So enough with all the mean comments. Have we already forgotten how many people suffered after 9/11 because of the actions of one barbaric group? Have we already forgotten how many Arab-American families were rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process?

I am not an Arab-American or a Muslim but I am a human being and I feel the need to speak up because the unfair treatment refugees, Arabs and Muslims have been receiving lately indirectly threatens my civil liberties. The pundit tells us that those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it. So let’s all be careful about how we treat our fellow brothers and sisters. Let us remember that protection of religious freedom means considering the faith and belief of everyone involved.

Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez tells us that America is strongest when we embrace diversity to its fullest, and that means opening doors of opportunity to everyone and recognizing that the American Dream excludes no one.

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