Friday, February 17, 2017
Those Who Make America Great
Yesterday's hastily called press conference reminded us all of how unhinged President Trump of the United States is. He rambled and bullied, and raved, insisting along the way that he wasn't doing any of this. He offered the threat that another draconian executive order was on the way, and god knows who this one will affect.
In the midst of the mayhem it was meaningful to read about the action of a Catholic priest who fled to the U.S. from war-torn Vietnam as a youth. Many of us recall the Vietnamese "boat people" who were welcomed in Canada and the United States during the 1970s.
This Vietnamese refugee, Father Chuong Hoai Nguyen, has written to President Trump offering to surrender his American citizenship so that Trump could confer it on a Syrian refugee who would be barred under the president’s controversial order banning travelers from Syria and six other Muslim-majority countries. He is even going to ask his religious superiors for permission to go live and work in one of the seven countries on the banned list.
In his letter to Trump he observed “I am an American and I have made America great in my own way for the 42 years since I was granted asylum in this great country. But now, I would like to relinquish my U.S. citizenship and ask that you grant it to a Syrian refugee."
I doubt any of us anticipate an empathetic, heart-felt response from the emperor...I mean the president. He seems incapable of genuine concern for others. But this is a powerful gesture and a reminder of what refugees and immigrants can contribute to the life of any nation.