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A local doctor had a friend desperately trying to flee Venezuela.  It was two years ago.  The friend was also a doctor and with a hungry family.  He was part of a larger medical community in Caracas looking for a safe haven.  Doctors and other professionals are scapegoats of Venezuela’s Marxist government.  Many in the professional class were educated in the United States and speak fluent English. 

If they were to arrive today in the Magic Valley, they would immediately blend in with the local culture.

Most are Christian.  In the case of the specific doctor, he and his family are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  If they were to arrive today in the Magic Valley, they would immediately blend in with the local culture.  And we sorely need doctors and other medical professionals.

In the late 1970s I had a next door neighbor from Cuba.  His family had fled the communists in 1963.  His father was also a doctor.  The old man eventually passed his boards in Florida and practiced medicine there.  Jose, my neighbor, joined the U.S. Army.  He served with distinction.  Eventually he became a school administrator and then went on to work as a professor at a small Roman Catholic college.  When his fellow professors preached socialism, he was a living warning to students of the evils of the left.

The people I cite have made my country better or would make it better.

I’m not opposed to opening the door in their cases.  Programs such as lotteries and calls for diversity strike me as patently absurd.  These old policies don’t reward merit and ignore some difficult cultural fits.  For anyone who screams a focus on refugees from similar cultures is bigoted, you should ask a simple question in reply.  “What have you got against Christians?”

When countries in the Middle East refuse to take refugees from some neighboring countries it raises another question.  “What do they know that we don’t?”  And countries blocking entry are often barring people of similar culture and language.

I’ve been hearing a lot of criticism about local governments and Governor Brad Little not taking a stand against refugee resettlement, however.  The program is much more like the one I’ve described than the previous alternative.  And you can thank President Trump!  If you would like to know his role and the changes he made for the better, check out this column from former State Representative Stephen Hartgen.