Generally speaking, U.S. attitudes toward the idea of accepting refugees have not been very generous over time.
From Drew DeSilver at the Pew Research Center:
And from Jeffrey Jones at Gallup:
A recent paper in the journal PLoS One examined growth patterns of 982 refugee children (age 0-10 yrs) from 35 countries who were resettled in the state of Washington (Dawson-Hahn et al 2016). Using height and weight measured at the time of their overseas health examination, the authors calculated rates of stunting (low height-for-age), wasting (low weight-for-height), and overweight/obesity as markers of a child’s nutritional status. These statistics were also compared to low-income children in Washington.
To me, the most important part of the results was that rates of substandard growth were quite high among refugees. Overall, refugee children aged 0-5 years old were more likely to be wasted and stunted, and less likely to be obese in comparison to low-income children in Washington.
A young refugee couple kiss in a tent in Keleti station in Budapest, Hungary. Photograph: Istvan Zsiros. Source
From the article in The Guardian:
“I hope every refugee finds a their place in the world, finds peace as quickly as possible,” (photographer) Istvan Zsiros says. “That everyone is happy. It’s a very difficult situation, a very complex situation.”
And he hopes his photograph might change the way people see the situation: “Love,” he says, quoting the movie Interstellar, “is the one thing we’re capable of perceiving that transcends time and space.” And, perhaps, borders.”
This is not a complete list, but a copy and paste of some of the highlights from our session:
Summary of the session
Below are some reasons why our research is important and how it is relevant for the public in general.
There’s so many different worlds
So many different suns
And we have just one world
But we live in different ones
— Mark Knopfler, Brothers in Arms
I had the above T-shirt custom-made a couple of weeks ago, which reads “you are my cousin” in several languages. I can’t say for certain whether all of the translations are 100% accurate, but I tried to include a diverse range of languages, including the most commonly spoken ones (and Hmong; I just had to include Hmong). I’ve yet to wear it in public, but I am curious whether people will ask me about it. My hope is that it will get people to think a little about human diversity, similarity, difference, and how we are all related.
Of course, I’m playing fast and loose with terminology here, using ‘cousin’ in a very broad evolutionary sense. From an evolutionary perspective, genetic ties (or ‘blood’) are considered important since they indicate degree of shared genetic material. However, not every society sees family relations in the same way, which is a testament to the power of culture.
“We are so sorry for coming to your country, but we have to. There is no way else. I’m so sorry.”
— Syrian refugee, Mohamed Hussein, arriving by boat to Greece.
There is something that strikes a nerve when a desperate refugee feels the need to apologize for simply trying to find a life safe from war. They certainly have more humanity than the people who refer to them as cockroaches or vermin.
“Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.”
— Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 14 (Source)