Liberals and Refugees

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I am old enough to recall when quite a few liberals were very unwilling to take in refugees fleeing from a totalitarian state where hundreds of thousands were being placed into “reeducation” camps and tens of thousands were being summarily executed:


The Democrat complaints in 1975 appeared to center on the fact that the refugees were escaping communism, an ideology, analysts say, liberals did not find that objectionable.

Leading the effort to ban the Vietnamese refugees was California’s Gov. Jerry Brown. Other prominent Democrats calling for the ban were Delaware’s Sen. Joe Biden, former presidential “peace candidate” George McGovern, and New York Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman.

Julia Taft, who in 1975 headed up President Gerald Ford’s Inter-agency Task Force on Indochinese refugee resettlement, told author Larry Engelmann in his book, “Tears Before the Rain: An Oral History of the Fall of South Vietnam” that “the new governor of California, Jerry Brown, was very concerned about refugees settling in his state.”

National Public Radio host Debbie Elliott retraced Brown’s refusal to accept any refugees in a January 2007 interview with Taft. According to a transcript, which was aired on its flagship program, “All Things Considered,” Taft said, “our biggest problem came from California due to Brown.” She called his rejection of Vietnamese refugees “a moral blow.”

Taft recalled another reason liberals opposed the refugees: “They said they had too many Hispanics, too many people on welfare, they didn’t want these people.”

“They didn’t want any of these refugees, because they had also unemployment,” she told NPR.

“They had already a large number of foreign-born people there. They had – they said they had too many Hispanics, too many people on welfare, they didn’t want these people.”

Author Larry Clinton Thompson recounted in his book, “Refugee Workers in the Indochina Exodus,” that Brown said, “We can’t be looking 5,000 miles away and at the same time neglecting people who live here.”

The CQ Almanac shows New York’s Elizabeth Holtzman – who was one of the House’s most visible liberal congresswomen — opposed helping the Vietnamese refugees. She said, according to CQ Almanac, “some of her constituents felt that the same assistance and compassion was not being shown to the elderly, unemployed and poor in this country.”

Rep. Donald Riegle, a liberal representative from Michigan who later would serve as its senator, offered an amendment that would have barred funds for the refugees unless similar assistance was given to Americans. The amendment was rejected by the House, 346 to 71, according to the Almanac.

Another House Democrat even tried to slow down the airlift of Vietnamese orphans. The Almanac reported that Rep. Joshua Eilberg, the Democratic chairman of the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship and International Law, accused the Ford administration of having acted “with unnecessary haste” in the evacuation of the orphans.

Go here to read the rest.  Ancient history?  Not really.  One of the last acts of the Obama administration was to slam the door on Cuban refugees.  Go here to read all about it.  Recall all this when liberals are crying tears for the Trump administration not wanting to admit carelessly vetted Islamic refugees from terrorist plagued countries in the Middle East.

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  1. There was a saying that the pundits were fond of when I was a young man. As a young G.I. stationed in Germany, I remember reading it in the Stars & Stripes. It went : Only Nixon could go to China. Now, it could be said : Only Obama would genuflect to Castro. TR.

  2. Didi not Democrat Obama ban Cuban refugees just before Trump took office?
    Did not Democrat FDR remove the freedom of Japanese immigrants and consign them to holding camps for the duration of WWII?
    How quickly people forget. OK if a Dem does it, blasphemy to American principles if a Repub does it.

  3. FDR also refused to allow a ship with German Jews fleeing from the Nazis dock in the US. The ship was diverted to the Dominican Republic. The Dems are hypocrites with poor memories.

  4. The frame shows Obama as a limp-wristed rag doll firmly in the grip of Castro, the Communist Dictator of the island prison of Cuba. Even he must wince in retrospect.

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