A bishop who works with Iraqi Christians now living in California says he supported President Donald Trump’s original executive order on refugees and is hopeful his new order will make a priority those persecuted by Islamic terrorists for their Christian faith.
Bishop Bawai Soro, who works with the Iraqi Christian expatriate community at St. Peter Chaldean Catholic Church in El Cajon, California, says refugees persecuted for their faith have long been a priority for the United States.
“I was a supporter of President Trump’s original executive order on refugees, and I hope the new order will likewise include priority for those who were targeted for genocide by ISIS,” Soro says in a statement. “The United States has long prioritized as refugees those persecuted for their faith, whatever their religion. Not doing so now would be a win for ISIS and a huge disappointment to the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi-American Christians in places like Michigan, Arizona and California.”
In an op-ed at the San Diego Union Tribune, Soro, who himself came to the United States as an Iraqi refugee in 1976, writes that the events of 9/11 are evidence that “radical Islamic terrorism is the clear and present danger facing America.”
Soro responds to Trump’s critics about the alleged “Muslim ban”:
Mr. Trump has no one to apologize to for his immigration doctrine for the simple reason that coming to America is not a right but a privilege, a privilege that is earned by waiting in line for however long it may take to reach America. Americans are therefore consoled by his position that the fundamental duty of the government is protecting Americans from all enemies foreign or domestic by maximally securing the homeland’s borders and, if necessary, also by extremely vetting certain individuals.
The bishop explains that during the civil war in Lebanon in the 70s, he and other refugees “endured unemployment, poverty and dangers of war” for several years as they waited to reach America.
Despite the delays he experienced, Soro says America must first safeguard herself for her citizens:
[I]f America is to accomplish her historic vocation by offering her values to newcomers, she must first herself be safe, prosperous and stable. No nation can offer its citizens that which she does not possess.
If America needs to build a wall and vet refugees, then it must be so. If a simple house is to be secured, doesn’t the owner of the house lock the doors at night? What happens if thieves know the door is unlocked? Open borders and easygoing immigration policies are what could inflict the U.S. with the fire that has been burning in the Middle East for centuries.
“Securing the U.S. border and vetting refugees brings no damage to Americans in any sense of the word,” Soro writes. “Today’s Europe is a good lesson to America.”