Refugees and the call for patience

Here at #unitecloud, we want you to be able to speak intelligently about the refugee crisis in our world, our country’s role in it, and what the executive order/temporary ban means for refugees “yearning to breathe free”.

One of the great misunderstandings that we need your help in communicating is laid out in an article from Vox entitled “9 Questions About the Global Refugee Crisis That You Were Too Embarrassed To Ask”.

“Refugees going through this elaborate process don’t get to continue moving forward once this ban finally expires. A refugee pulled off a flight this week will likely see all of his or her security and medical clearances expire. They will have to start all over again — that means all those interviews, all those assessments. And that could take another two years.”

“You know, they’ll just have to wait a little longer – no big deal,” I overheard two gentlemen that worked at the St. Cloud Hospital saying as a laid in bed preparing for my emergency appendectomy this week (yuck.) How I wanted to rip the IV out of my arm and go up to them and explain how insensitive they were being, talking loudly with such “assurance” while people from all parts of the world, most especially Somalia, were waiting to receive treatment. What I wanted to say to them and to many folks in our nation today is:

Careful….your privilege is showing.

You and I can easily call for patience as we sit in our warm houses, with our fridge stocked with food and our family surrounding us, not currently in danger of war, famine, bombs, execution, rape, or torture. We must come to the realization that asking for patience shows extreme ignorance of the situation at hand and just what this executive order/temporary ban means for those around the world that have fought through all of the LEGAL channels to come to our country, only to be surprised with the fact that now, the 3+ years of interviews, DNA testing, and other extreme vetting measures are no longer good enough.

What is good enough? Being a Christian, apparently. As a Christian, I am asking my fellow Jesus-followers to rise up against the fact that Christian refugees from around the world are being prioritized to come to America over other refugees, especially Muslims. There is absolutely no backing for this in the Bible, and this is certainly not the posture that Jesus took towards those different from Him when He walked on this earth. He loved people – all people. He fought for dignity and grace for all – most especially the marginalized, the widow, and the orphan – and he didn’t only speak for people that were Jewish like he was.

Whether you are religious or not, let us rise up with one voice, #unitecloud. A clear voice that is filled with love and compassion, but also backed by clarity around what is happening and exactly what it is that we are up against. It is up to us to have intelligent conversations at work, at home, at church, in your civic groups, and, yes, even at the St. Cloud Hospital, about what our President’s executive order means for our neighbors and their families.