By Michael Hill
Without mentioning any candidate by name, UN Ambassador Samantha Power said their opposition to resettling refugees here is wrong and shortsighted.
“By turning away refugees we would lose out on the tremendous contributions that they will make to our society, that they have made” she said.
Power pointed to predecessors Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright as examples. In the Seton Hall University audience, she pointed to guests she invited — the nonprofits and Pakistani, Iranian and Syrian refugees– they helped to resettle here after fleeing war and persecution.
“Imagine for a moment refusing to take in a family threatened for its beliefs,” Power said.
The ambassador also invited the mayor who wrote to the White House in September that he would welcome refugees to Haledon.
“I recognize and other mayors recognize that we need to separate these normal folks, everyday folks from the combatants,” said Haledon Mayor Domenick Stampone.
Republican Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi says she has the same compassion for families and women.
“But when you’re talking about large numbers of single young men, being integrated into a western society. When they come from areas or cultures that have viewed women as 2nd or 3rd class citizens its a very dangerous proposition,” she said.
The administration’s policy on resettlement Syrian refugees in America has come under fire from governors and others and so has its policy on addressing Syrian conflict that’s led to the refugee crisis.
“We learned form Iraq and Afghanistan state building is not easy. People elected the president with the idea that we want to disengage from foreign wars. So how can he get draw us into two war and put us back into one on his way out?” asked Martin Edwards, director of the Center for UN at Seton Hall University.
Power came to Seton Hall University to expound on President Obama’s last State of the Union Address. She countered the campaign trail assertions that America is seen as weak under Obama. Power said the Ebola crisis two years ago showed that the perception among nations is just the opposite.
“That’s a belief that we could just snap our fingers and remake the world ourselves,” she said.
Power said the policy of engaging hostile countries such as Iran and Cuba is about helping each nation’s people.
“By restoring relations with Cuba we have taken away the regime’s boogeyman,” she said.
But, the administration’s policies have created a cadre of campaigning and critical commentators the ambassador says it feels it needs to address.