Tom Perez on World Refugee Day
June 20, 2017
In commemoration of World Refugee Day, DNC Chair Tom Perez released the following statement:
“For generations, the words inscribed at the foot of the Statue of Liberty have been a beacon of freedom that burns as brightly as the torch she clutches. ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.’ This message has welcomed newcomers of every color and creed from every corner of the world, including millions of refugees seeking protection from war, persecution, and disaster.
“Like so many others, my parents came to America seeking refuge from the iron-fist of a brutal dictator. They were yearning to breathe free, and this country welcomed them with compassion. So when I look at the millions of refugees around the world, I don’t see nameless strangers. I see people like my parents. I see families like my own, searching for a better life than the one they left behind and eager to contribute their talents to make our country stronger.
“Diversity has always been our nation’s greatest strength. And the United States, along with the rest of the international community, must shoulder this responsibility to our fellow brothers and sisters seeking refuge. These women, men, and children are fleeing the very same horrors we fear. They have crossed oceans and continents; they have lost friends and family; they have fled oppression in search of opportunity. And while they may have been born outside of our borders, their courage is American to its core.”