syrian refugees

George R. R. Martin on Syria: The Refugees Are Also Victims of ISIS; Let Them In

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Martin. Photo: Charley Gallay/2014 Getty Images

Amid tensions involving the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis, Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin kicked off his weekend with a concise blog post in which he waxed political and unpacked his welcoming stance. The writer cited words from Emma Lazarus’s “New Colossus” poem, which appears on the Statue of Liberty’s base, and said that those opposing the refugees don’t understand that for which America stands. “The Syrian refugees are as much victims of ISIS as the dead in France,” he wrote, referencing the devastating attacks from earlier this month. “Let them in. Santa Fe, at least, will welcome them.” Martin proceeded to call out governors, along with Donald Trump, in his frustrated plea to recognize the U.S. as an immigrant nation.

Read on for his full statement (emphases his own):

[Emma Lazarus’s] poem, “The New Colossus,” appears in bronze on the base of the Statue of Liberty. A statue given to the United States by France, our nation’s oldest friend and ally … a bit of history that seems especially important just now, in light of the recent horrors in Paris.

For me, Lady Liberty and the words on her base represent the best of what this nation of immigrants is all about. One has to wonder if all the governors (including our own governor here in New Mexico, I am ashamed to say) and congressmen voting to keep out the Syrian refugees have ever visited the Statue, or read the words on her base. If so, they surely failed to understand them.

Of course, most everyone knows the part about ‘your tired, your poor, your huddled masses,’ but let me draw your attention to some other lines of the poem:
— a mighty woman with a torch … her name Mother of Exiles,
— from her beacon hand, Glows world-wide welcome,
— send these, the homeless, tempest-tost, to me.

Emma Lazarus had it right. Donald Trump and thirty-one governors have it wrong, wrong, wrong.

The Syrian refugees are as much victims of ISIS as the dead in France.

Let them in. Santa Fe, at least, will welcome them.

For more from Martin’s blog, head here.

George R. R. Martin on Syria: Let Refugees In