A’s reliever Sean Doolittle and his girlfriend Eireann Dolan shared Thanksgiving with 17 families of Syrian refugees in Chicago on Wednesday to share “American hospitality and togetherness” with them.
In a blog post, Dolan noted that her home state of Illinois, Doolittle’s home state of New Jersey, and Arizona, where they now live are among 30 states whose governors are trying to block the entry of new Syrian refugees.
“We see on the news that we should fear these refugees, half of whom are children. That there’s a chance they could ‘radicalize once they get here,” she wrote. “I in no way want to even lend credence to this fear, but wouldn’t you say that the single best way to prevent radicalization is through one-on-one ambassadorship?”
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The plight of Syrian refugees has a personal element for Dolan.
“My family came to this country from a poor and war-torn Ireland within the last century,” she wrote. “When they came to this country, it would have been very easy for them to be mistaken for those who would wish to commit terrorist activities when all they really wanted to do was to give their children a better life free from war and poverty.”
Dolan’s grandfather who she said immigrated from Ireland to escape the Troubles as a child died earlier this year, and hosting Syrian refugees was a way, in part, to honor him.
President Obama made similar appeals for the acceptance of the 10,00 Syrian refugees the U.S. has vowed to take in over the course of next year, by reminding Americans that the pilgrims commemorated on Thanksgiving similarly fled persecution.
Last week, the House of Representatives voted to suspend the refugee resettlement program in order to intensify screening measures.
Immigration experts have said the vetting process refugees face before they are allowed to enter the U.S. is more stringent than any other way to enter the country and can take up to two years.