As a counter to Greek pomp, the Statue of Liberty pedestal humbly states, “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free … I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Many entered that door with a willingness to learn the language, culture and accept America’s historical values. One wonders if the 10,000 Syrian refugees that President Obama is calling for will enter with that motivation. Maybe, but questions do arise given the ugliness of Islamist terrorism and the priority of U.S. citizens’ safety. Religion is a factor in that Christians in many parts of the Middle East are persecuted on that basis alone, so allowing at least 50 percent of Syrian refugees of Christian status makes sense and is not a “shameful” filter.

Before entering, a strict screening or vetting of all refugees must be thorough, completed over several years, and then monitored over five more. But rather than bring the refugees here, an even better plan is to help such refugees reclaim their own homeland, they along with millions of others who have fled Syria.

If only 5 percent, all able-bodied men, of this vast of this group could be organized, trained, and equipped by a consortium of the U.S.A., France, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia, then a motivated army of boots could be returned to Syria to fight for their homeland with allied support and established “safe-zones.”

This seems to be a better choice for these Syrians who really never wanted to come here in the first place, who do not speak our language or know our culture, and have little employment opportunities. Americans are compassionate and fair-minded, but we are not fools and we want to protect our communities first. Keep that in mind, Mr. President.


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