Refugee Crisis: An Open Letter to President Obama


Dear President Obama,

I am writing to ask why the US government does not do much more to help in the mass refugee crisis which is currently impacting much of Europe?

Let me begin with introducing myself. I am a 46 year old, single mother presently living in Edinburgh, Scotland. I am American, but hold dual nationality. My son is both American and British. But truly he feels most Scottish.

I worked on your election campaign back in 2008, both in the USA (where we lived from 2005-2008) and back in the UK. In fact I was an avid supporter of yours before you even won the Democratic nomination. I recall staying up all night watching the 2008 election results. And as you were announced the 44th President of the United States, I sobbed for joy on my sofa in my West London flat.

So I had much admiration and high expectations of your presidency. In fact you have done some great things on the domestic level. But on foreign policy, I am afraid you haven’t deviated much from the previous administration.

The USA has been the biggest instigator in the instability in the Middle East. Now I am not saying nothing should have been done to counter the horrific acts of ISIS/ISIL. But these organisations didn’t evolve in a vacuum. They grew out of instability and war across the region.

But regardless of what side you take or how you view international interventions in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc., the humanitarian outcome has been immense. Millions of people, many of them innocent children have been displaced. They can no longer live in their own village, city, country. They are desperate to find a better life than living in constant fear of being bombed, shot or taken hostage.

You are probably aware that Turkey, Lebonon and Jordan have all taken in over 1 million refugees thus far. But they don’t have the space or resources to take any more people.

So these refugees are fleeing the region in their millions and now its become a humanitarian crisis on the doorstep of Europe. Thus far Germany (a country which has had little to do with the attacks on the region) has said they will take in 800,000 refugees. That is quite generous and means now every displaced family is dying (in many cases literally) to get there.

But why isn’t the USA doing more for these people? They are human beings who have done nothing more than be caught up in an ugly civil war within their countries. They just want a better, safer life for their children.

The words at the pedestal of Lady Liberty.

“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-tossed to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

Kind regards,
Melissa Murray