An Open Letter to Congressman Norcross on Mideast Refugees

NorcrossVer4Note: The democratic view is based in Camden County, New Jersey, in New Jersey’s 1st Congressional District, and represented in Congress by Donald Norcross, a Democrat. Congressman Norcross recently voted with Republicans and against President Obama for a bill that, by most accounts, would bring a halt to the entry of Syrian refugees into the United States. TDV believes Congressman Norcross’ vote is not consistent with our democratic principles, and, in the attached letter, sent to his office via email on November 23rd, has asked him to reconsider his position.

Dear Congressman Norcross,

When you voted, as you did last week, to effectively deny access to Syrian refugees seeking asylum in the United States, I believe your vote contradicted the basic principles upon which our country was founded.

Syrian and other Mideast refugees have been driven from their homes by sectarian conflict and incessant warfare.   Whole families – including the elderly and small children – have been forced to endure long and dangerous forced migrations.

The U.S. helped ignite this horrific situation by toppling governments in the region and then failing to restore order and effective governance. The result is that large portions of the Mideast have descended into chaos.

We helped bring about this crisis and we have a special responsibility as Americans to help these refugees – just as we have so many others throughout our history seeking to escape tyranny and conflict and build new lives in a free and democratic society.

By most accounts, the measures we have in place today for screening refugees entering the U.S. are adequate to ensure our security; if there are gaps, by all means we need to fix them.

But the bill you voted for last week seems more like a total roadblock than a carefully considered fix.

When and if this bill or a similar measure comes up again, please consider changing your vote.

Please vote to help those who we have failed in the past and who now desperately need our help to rebuild their lives – and to send a message that the U.S. will not be intimidated into renouncing the basic principles upon which our country was founded.


John Conlow

Facilitator, the democratic view