116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
In 1975, Republican Gov. Robert D. Ray offered a haven in Iowa to 10,000 refugees at the request of then-President Gerald Ford. Done in defiance of public opinion, Ray said he did it because “it was the right thing to do.” Three years later, moved by media coverage of the Vietnamese “Boat People,” Ray organized an Iowa and national effort through religious and humanitarian organizations to find these people homes.
These actions by Gov. Ray represent one of Iowa’s finest hours, showing the world the active power of this state’s collective compassion under the right leadership, making Iowa a symbol of hope for desperate, hungry and dying refugees.
Recently, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has cavalierly rejected a request to accept migrant children who are similarly fleeing inhumane conditions in Latin America. Saying “this is not our problem,” she termed it “the president’s problem.”
Reynolds’ actions have shown how far we have drifted from the enlightened leadership this state used to offer – and how unfit she is to hold public trust.