Editorial: Parson's welcome note to refugees refreshingly bucks the conservative trend


"I support people. I believe in humanity," said Abubaker Bertin of St. Louis, who joined more than 300 people in a #WalkwithRefugees march that started at the International Institute of St. Louis on June 20, 2018. The United Nations' World Refugee Day is observed on June 20 each year to honor the courage and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homeland under threat of persecution, conflict and violence.

Gov. Mike Parson has taken a courageous stand in favor of keeping Missouri’s doors open to refugees. He didn’t have to issue his Dec. 30 declaration affirming Missouri’s longstanding policy of welcoming new refugee arrivals. In fact, President Donald Trump and his followers probably would have preferred that Parson jump on the anti-immigrant bandwagon. But sometimes, leadership means stepping off the bandwagon and standing up for what’s right and decent.

Trump signed an executive order in September requiring governors to state publicly that they would be willing to accept refugees. Otherwise, the assumption would be that the state was opting out. Before issuing his order, Trump slashed the number of refugees allowed into the United States in 2020 to 18,000 — a historic low and a far cry from the range of 50,000 to 200,000 permitted annually under previous administrations.

Trump campaigned hard in 2016 on a platform emphasizing xenophobia and cultivating voters’ worst fears about supposed dangers and threats to job security posed by refugees and immigrants. In reality, refugees are people fleeing danger and persecution in their home countries. In St. Louis, they have an extraordinary record as entrepreneurs and job creators.

Click here to read the full article on STL Today