Letter: We should help our own before taking in refugees
To the Editors:
I thought I would add my two cents to the refugee question for what it is worth. First of all, it is a horrible situation not only for the refugees but also for the European nations who were struggling with their own financial problems before having to provide for these hordes coming into their countries.
Should the U.S. take some in? Probably yes, but as I understand it, we would provide them with housing, food allowances and help them find jobs, something I think we should offer to all our own homeless citizens who get their meals from a Dumpster behind a restaurant somewhere in any city in the country, then find shelter for the night under a thruway underpass, in a storefront or anywhere they can find a spot with relative warmth. Many of these (last number I heard was 48,000) are veterans who fought for our country in various wars and others who were at one time tax-paying citizens of the U.S.
I know that many of these people are where they are due to alcohol or drug addiction, or other self-induced reasons, but they are still humans and deserve our compassion as much as people fleeing their homelands because of the horrors their birthplaces have become. I can take anyone who doesn't believe this to areas in Norwalk, Stamford and Bridgeport where I have seen people in cardboard boxes under the turnpike, in vacant lots and city parks in all kinds of weather, rain, snow or heat of the summer. They are out there every day!
My thoughts on taking in the refugees is yes, but not until every person living on our streets has a meal and a warm bed to sleep in every day. Yes we do have shelters that do just that, but they do not have the capacity to take in all the homeless folks and also are underfunded and need the help of local churches and other charitable organizations to keep their doors open and food on their shelves, and these organizations are constantly seeking funds so they can continue the wonderful work that they do.
Both situations are horrible — being homeless or seeking refuge from terror — but the United States does send billions of dollars each year to some of these countries, so it is not that we are not helping at least in a monetary way. As I said at the start, just my thoughts.
Bayden "Bud" Taylor
River Road, Dec. 30