logo



Letters: Lee's refugee decision was right

Johnson City Press • Dec 22, 2019 at 6:00 AM

Want to have your voice heard? Send a Letter to the Forum. Authors must sign their letters and include addresses and phone numbers for verification. Letters may be no longer than 300 words and will be edited for grammar, style and length. Send your submission to Mailbag, P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605-1717 or [email protected].

Lee’s refugee decision was right

Thank you for printing the AP article in the Dec. 19 issue, which informed readers of Gov. Bill Lee's decision to continue resettling refugees in Tennessee. For those who didn't see the article, Lee was willing to go against the push by fellow Republicans in the legislature who have actually been trying to sue the federal government over refugee resettlement.

According to the article, "In September, Trump slashed the number of refugees allowed into the U.S. and authorized state and local governments to refuse to accept them." So far, no states have said they plan to reject refugees.

Lee says his decision is initially valid for a year. I think he should be encouraged to stand firm in this decision. First, he is right in stating that it is in keeping with the Christian faith to welcome refugees. Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus were refugees when they were warned by an angel to escape to Egypt.

Second, Trump's executive order makes no sense. Even if a state opts out, refugees could still move there, but the state would not receive federal funding to provide them with medical assistance, English language training, and other services that would help them adjust quickly to becoming healthy and productive members of our communities.

I hope those legislators who were trying to keep refugees out will have a change of heart, or those who agree with Lee will run for office to replace them.

AMANDA SMITH
Mountain City

Don’t follow cult of personality

I miss the Republicans of my youth. The principled guys who stood for things like smaller government, fiscal responsibility and a strong defense. You may not have agreed with them on everything, but at least they had a coherent agenda.

Now, the Republican Party platform has become Donald Trump. If something is good for Trump, they support it. If it is bad for Trump, they oppose it. This was prominently on display during the House impeachment inquiry, when a decorated war veteran and a series of respected U.S. diplomats were attacked and belittled by Republicans because they shared facts that made the president look bad. If those same witnesses had testified in a way that helped the president, those same Republicans would have celebrated them as heroes.

Right and wrong have been removed from the equation. Now, it is only Trump. Republicans have joined him in attacking the FBI, the CIA, the Justice Department, Federal judges, a 16-year old environmental activist, celebrities, newspapers, TV stations, entire American cities, John McCain and others. Why? Because they spoke or acted in a way that displeased the president.

This preoccupation with Trump has led some people to call the new Republican Party a “cult.” That’s a pretty harsh label. And I’m not saying it applies to everyone who is in the GOP. But if your guiding star is a person, and not a principle, you need to take a hard look at what you’ve become.

JEFFREY BENEDICT
Johnson City

Roe’s not willing to do job

Rep. Roe stated in this article “I’m having trouble in moving on” from the impeachment trial, and I feel so, since he is not representing all Americans that truly want to hear the facts.

A President that is blocking all evidence from being heard has something to hide. And Rep. Roe should be willing to hear it.

It is very disappointing to have a Tennessee representative not willing to do his job wherever the facts may lead them.

Also the reason taxpayers may not be calling his office may be that he does not respond to their calls or wish to represent them.

To say in the article “I just want a speedy trial” is not doing his job. All witnesses have provided valuable evidence that needs to be heard.

A. WINN JOHNSON
Jonesborough

Johnson City Press Videos