Welcoming refugees is a well-known act of human kindness and, as Jesus reminds us, is an important tenet for Christians professing these ideals. As the editorial (“Welcoming refugees: The right thing to do,” Our View, Aug. 30) says, there’s no question these are noble and virtuous actions by New Mexicans and our nation. I applaud those possessing the compassion and understanding in accommodating those unfortunate Afghan people. I pray constantly for refugees and those undergoing hardship.

In welcoming them to New Mexico, consideration should be given to the following questions:



  • Were these people vetted before gaining access into the United States to ensure no terrorists or undesirables are not among the refugees?
  • Are they vaccinated against COVID-19, or at a minimum, are they required to wear masks, maintain social distancing and abide by prescribed protocols?
  • Are they here temporarily or are they here to stay?
  • If they intend to stay, do we have the resources to legitimize them as American citizens?
  • How will we be able to assimilate and integrate them into society, given their language barrier, different culture and customs?
  • Do we have the resources and wherewithal to provide for 123,000 people on a short- or long-term basis in New Mexico and elsewhere?
  • Who is paying for all of this?
  • Specifically, who will be responsible for dealing with these matters?
  • Is there a plan in place on how to achieve the aforementioned?

I believe these are legitimate matters that must be addressed before we roll out the welcome mat.

Arthur R. Varela is a Vietnam veteran who lives in Pecos.

(2) comments

Robert Novak

Don’t let the opening paragraphs fool anyone. In other words, they’re not welcome here.

Jim Klukkert

[thumbup] Indeed Mr. Novak, that seems an adequate and truthful summary.

"Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Nowadays, not so much.

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