If Texas won’t take them, 6-year-old Alex will. Or at least he has offered to take in one Syrian, the child captured in a photograph last month while he sat in the back of an ambulance, his head dusty and bloodied after a bomb hit his family’s home.
“Remember the boy who was picked up by the ambulance in Syria?” Alex wrote to U.S. President Obama. “Can you please go get him and bring him to my home?”
Obama read the note earlier this week at the UN Leaders’ Summit on Refugees held in New York, and the White House posted it online Wednesday.
Obama, in his speech, chided world leaders for not doing enough to help refugees. He called the global refugee crisis “one of the most urgent tests of our time.” About 65 million people are displaced from their homes and most of these people come from countries of great poverty, or as in Syria’s case, have experienced prolonged war. Obama commended Germany and Canada as exemplary nations for providing these people support, and announced the U.S. would increase the number of refugees it accepts in 2017 by nearly 60 percent. (The U.S. accepted 10,000 Syrian refugees in 2016 and it accepted 40,000 from around the world this year.)
The issue has political implications. In the U.S., some politicians and states have complained that taking in refugees, especially from Syria, might imperil national safety. They argue federal authorities can’t properly screen these people, some of whom could be terrorists.