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Look at taking in Syrian refugees as a long-term investment in America

Look at taking in Syrian refugees as a long-term investment in America
By the pool in the courtyard, Omar Wawieh plays around with his little sister, Masaa, age 5, at the motel their family is living in until they can find more permanent housing. (Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Articles like the one about the Wawieh family make me proud to be an American. It took some lucky breaks, perseverance and a long process filled with red tape, but they fled war and arrived here from Syria by way of Egypt. Once here they profited from the help of others more fortunate and made a successful foothold. ("Fortune struck for these Syrian migrants, but can they make it in California?," Nov. 28)

We can look at them and other refugees as a burden — or we can see them as a long-term investment.

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If our history holds true, parents Faoud and Safaa likely will not reach their previous standard of living. But their children will take advantage of the opportunities given and do much better. Their grandchildren will know only America and hear stories of Syria.

They will be the entrepreneurs and pioneers of the middle-late 21st century. Perhaps one of them will be our first Muslim president. But this will only happen because we chose to give their grandparents a haven when they fled for their lives.

Tom Allain, La Jolla

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To the editor: What makes America great is the willingness of our people to lay their lives down at the altar of freedom, as was done in the Revolutionary War and in every war thereafter when duty called.

I remember my father telling me that everyone signed up to fight when the country was attacked at Pearl Harbor, even going so far as lying about their age. The lesson was that freedom is not free.

Conspicuously absent from the first picture on your article is the age of Omar, the eldest son. In the body of the article his age is given as 15 when demonstrations were being held to protest Syrian leader Bashar Assad.

Moreover, if young Omar will not fight for his country, can we really expect him to assimilate and fight for the U.S. if need be?

Miguel Rosales, Glendale

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To the editor: After reading the story about the Wawieh family in California, who migrated here from Syria, I immediately sent out an urgent tweet to Donald Trump and his GOP cohorts.

This dangerous, potentially terrorist family must be watched. The kids are infiltrating our schools and spreading Islamic ideals. The father might use his cigarettes to set off bombs. They are setting up a sleeper cell in Pomona.

Worst of all, they are not Christian. Enough said.

Jerry Lasnik, Thousand Oaks

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