President Obama Thursday used his Thanksgiving address to lecture Americans about generosity, suggesting opposition to admitting Syrian refugees stems from a lack of it and comparing the Syrians to the Pilgrims.
From the address:
On this uniquely American holiday, we also remember that so much of our greatness comes from our generosity . . .
I’ve been touched by the generosity of the Americans who’ve written me letters and emails in recent weeks, offering to open their homes to refugees fleeing the brutality of ISIL.
Now, people should remember that no refugee can enter our borders until they undergo the highest security checks of anyone traveling to the United States. That was the case before Paris, and it’s the case now. And what happened in Paris hasn’t stopped Americans from opening their arms anyway . . .
Nearly four centuries after the Mayflower set sail, the world is still full of pilgrims – men and women who want nothing more than the chance for a safer, better future for themselves and their families. What makes America America is that we offer that chance. We turn Lady Liberty’s light to the world, and widen our circle of concern to say that all God’s children are worthy of our compassion and care. That’s part of what makes this the greatest country on Earth.
Americans who are concerned about the Syrian refugees are not ungenerous. They have not lost the spirit symbolized by the Statue of Liberty. Rather, they want to prevent people from entering the country who might blow it up.
We already accept tens of thousand of refugees in this country every year. Syrians fleeing war don’t have to come to the United States. They can be resettled in the Middle East. There are legitimate concerns about whether they can be vetted, and why so many of them are young men, not women and children.
Mr. President, why not extend some of your spirit of generosity to the thousands of Americans who could be killed in the next terrorist attack?