Editor’s note

Our country has made a promise it can’t keep. It’s a promise that has been kept through past decades to fearful refugees, but now it is being broken.

President Bush promised that 70,000 immigrants escaping war and persecution would find a home in the United States during this fiscal year. That promise won’t be kept, and blaming security concerns won’t do.

There are 14 million people in this world either on the move or displaced. Families without homes or hope through no fault of their own. We can’t help them all but we can do our share and show the rest of the world the way. This country brought in all of your forebears and many of them were escaping war, famine, persecution—it is a tradition we can be proud of. Diversity made this country stronger.

As of today, only 11,000 have reached our shores this year due to a halt in the refugee flow following 9-11. Only a percentage of those approved for passage here have made it, the rest are stuck in limbo. And now the slowdown continues due to tougher screening. Following the tragedy in New York City, there have been understandable fears of foreigners flying into our country to murder innocent people. But history shows that refugees are not terrorists, they themselves are fleeing terror. In our story, “Out of Africa” you’ll see that the refugees are so busy escaping and surviving that political radicalism toward this country is not a priority. They want resettlement, not revolution.

Refugee advocates are calling on President Bush and congress this week to do the right thing and open the doors back up to those who are qualified to get the security and freedom they deserve. Keep the promise.