No place for exclusion We were saddened and dismayed upon reading in the Jan. 16 Littleton Independent that three city council members, Pat Driscoll, Carol Fey, and Jerry Valdes, voted against the …
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No place for exclusion
We were saddened and dismayed upon reading in the Jan. 16 Littleton Independent that three city council members, Pat Driscoll, Carol Fey, and Jerry Valdes, voted against the resolution to continue to allow refugees to resettle in Littleton. Their reasons — that refugees could overwhelm housing, schools and services — display ignorance and falsehoods. Even worse, a few citizens argued, according to the Independent, that refugees turn to welfare, lower school test scores, increase crime, cause social disintegration, and adversely affect our cultural fabric. These claims smack of bigotry.
Only 408 refugees settled in all of Arapahoe County during the past two years, hardly an overwhelming number. In addition, resettlement agencies help find housing and employment, alleviating societal burdens. Our own Littleton Immigrant Resources Center and Immigration Pathways Colorado further support integration of refugees into the community. The attack by Fey on Immigration Pathways chair Susan Thornton, incorrectly accusing her of pushing the resolution onto council’s agenda, was inexcusable.
The 1980 Refugee Act has succeeded during both Democratic and Republican administrations. Refugees typically flee certain death due to war, famine, violent crime or persecution. They undergo rigorous screening while living outside the U.S. before admittance.
Ancestors of council members and citizens who argued against the resolution likely came here for similar reasons that refugees seek entry today. I wonder whether these ancestors would be aghast and ashamed by statements and votes of their descendants. Exclusion, inhumanity and hate should have no place in Littleton.
Jeff May & Karen Crossen
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