Letters to the Editor

REFUGEES: South Sound is welcoming of refugees

Thanks for your editorial calling for welcoming Syrian refugees to the U.S. (TNT, 9-9).

As aptly noted, this community has a long history of welcoming refugees - Vietnamese, Cambodian, Polish, Russian, Ukrainian, Iraqi, Somali and Congolese, among others. Church members and community groups have opened their homes to welcome those in need of a safe place to resettle, and they are willing to do so again

These refugees have worked hard, contributing greatly to the economic and cultural life of the community. Their children have succeeded in school and integrated quickly, just like the Irish, Italian, German and Scandinavian immigrants of prior generations.

Refugees are only admitted to the U.S. after careful screening and with a guarantee of sponsorship in the local community. Once they are here, organizations like Tacoma Community House help them integrate through English-language lessons, job placement assistance and other services.

The U.S. has a long history of welcoming those who are fleeing war and persecution. We can do it again. By Sept. 30, Congress and the president will decide how many refugees to accept for the next year. We urge them to accept more refugees.

The South Sound will welcome them, just as we have for more than 100 years.