Refugee Crisis

I’ve been thinking a lot about the international refugee crisis, and feeling completely overwhelmed by what’s going on. I wrote a letter to my senators. Feel free to take and edit as you see fit.

 

Dear Senator Warren,

 

Given the increasing coverage of the Syrian Refugee crisis over the past week, I can’t help but feel overwhelmed by the seeming lack of action from the international community, as well as the magnitude of the number of lives affected by this.

 

What can we do? As an average American citizen, I’ve donated money, signed a whitehouse.gov petition, shared articles with friends and family, and explored volunteer opportunities around the greater Boston area with various refugee and immigration services organizations. But it feels so small, so removed from what is happening in the world. It’s not enough. It never feels like enough.

 

It’s Labor Day weekend. Folks here are celebrating and enjoying time with their families and friends, posting pictures on social media of grilling and sunny days spent outdoors, maybe on the water, maybe an ice-cold beer in hand. And I don’t want to diminish that or make anyone feel bad.

 

But it doesn’t take much searching online to find photos and articles that tell a different story and experience this weekend: one of fear, uncertainty, of people fleeing one country for an unwelcome home in another; unbearable living conditions, dehumanizing treatment, death.

 

I can’t shake it. I’m not sure I want to.

 

What does it take for us to wake up? To look around, outside our own every-day lives, and see that the United States has an opportunity to make a difference in an international crisis? And I don’t mean years from now… but today. Right now.

 

What can Massachusetts do? What can the United States do? How can we support humanitarian and humane treatment of our brothers and sisters around the world?

 

“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

–Emma Lazarus, American poet; an excerpt from “The New Colossus” inscribed on the Statue of Liberty

 

Respectfully, and still with hope,

Greg Batcheler

 

 

Links:

Whitehouse.gov petition
https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/authorize-and-resettle-syrian-refugees-us

 

Christian Politicians Won’t Say It, but the Bible is Clear: Let the Refugees In
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2015/sep/04/christian-politicians-wont-say-it-but-the-bible-is-clear-let-the-refugees-in-every-last-one

 

The Refugee Crisis isn’t a European Problem
http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/09/06/opinion/sunday/the-refugee-crisis-isnt-a-european-problem.html

 

Syrian Containment Produced a Predictable Deluge of Refugees
http://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2015/09/syria-containment-produced-predictable-deluge-refugees/120338/

 

Save the Children Fundraising
http://www.savethechildren.org

Fundraiser for Save the Children UK, via Young Adult author Patrick Ness
http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/PatrickNess

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *