Re the Aug. 14 letter to the editor, “Refugee bureau pick a poor choice,” by Basma Alawee, a Florida refugee organizer with the Florida Immigrant Coalition.
Alawee’s letter ignores Dr. Ronald Mortensen’s years of humanitarian work around the world — often in highly dangerous situations.
[The letter says: “To place someone with such anti-immigrant views in charge of this State Department bureau would undermine our role as a global leader on one of the most important humanitarian issues of our time.”]
But Mortensen has served on — and led — U.S. government Disaster Assistance Response Teams that provided help to millions of Iraqis and Syrians, including those fleeing combat in Fallujah and Mosul.
He also oversaw the U.S. response to a cholera outbreak in Iraq.
In addition, Dr. Mortensen has taken part in the U.S. government response to a cholera outbreak in Haiti, and put himself at risk in the fight to eradicate Ebola from Mali, and provided assistance to people suffering severe food shortages in West and East Africa.
Dr. Mortensen has been a fierce advocate for American children who are victims of illegal-immigrant-driven, job-related, identity theft — an act of compassion, not dislike of immigrants, as Alawee wrongly asserts.
Alawee should get to know Dr. Mortensen beyond the talking points provided by those who are engaged in character assassination.
If she does, she would agree with me that he is exceptionally well-qualified to advocate and care for migrants, refugees, and those in great need wherever they may be in the world.
T. Williard Fair,
Center for Immigration Studies,
chief executive officer,
The Urban League of Greater Miami