Homeland star Mandy Patinkin offered up some advice for those wishing to make Syrian refugees welcome in the United States of America.
“Find one of these refugee centers and go visit a family,” the actor recently told Variety. “Bring them to your home for dinner. Walk them around your neighborhood. Take them to your church. Make them feel welcome in this country.”
Patinkin, who plays CIA operative Saul Berenson on the hit Showtime series, recently spent time assisting the International Rescue Committee on the Greek island of Lesbos with its work in helping Syrian refugees. The 63-year-old actor said he had stood on the shores of the small island and literally helped arriving refugees with their children. In one instance, Patinkin said he offered some financial assistance to a family whose money had fallen overboard on the journey.
“I just wanted to connect with reality as opposed to the fictional world I was living in,” Patinkin told Variety. “I just wanted to be of some use to those people who have been living through a literal hell. This could have been my family 70 years ago escaping the Nazis.”
Patinkin also waded into the political debate being waged about the refugees back in America.
“There has not been a single incident of terrorism in this country since 9/11 committed by a political refugee — this is a fact,” the actor said. “People who are on the terrorist watch list in this country can buy a gun legally. These are the people we should be afraid of, not these refugees.”
The fifth-season finale of Homeland airs Sunday night, December 20. Showrunner Alex Gansa recently told EW that the show’s eery, real-life similarities to the chaos unraveling in the Middle East was not entirely coincidental.
“They’re writing what we’re all living,” Patinkin told Variety. “You’d have to be blind, deaf and dumb not to see the drama in the humanitarian crisis in the Middle East.”
In helping the refugees, the actor said he simply wants “other people to know the kind of joy that I have in my life.”
“I want other people to be able to have fun,” Patinkin added.
Homeland‘s fifth-season finale airs Sunday night at 9pm on Showtime.