Ronald Reagan was NOT responsible for Refugee Act of 1980; fake news from The Salt Lake Trib

No wonder people can’t trust the big print media anymore.

Don’t mainstream media outlets have some responsibility to fact check letters to the editor or can anyone just make up ‘facts’ from history, that are very easy to check, and just throw them out there for the gullible public?

esar met head shot

I looked for a photo of Eric Goldman, but there are too many political activists with that name, but heck, why not illustrate this story with this refugee convicted murderer from Burma resettled in Utah by Catholic Charities or the International Rescue Committee.

Before I get to the letter from someone named Eric Goldman, let me say that there was a time that I wrote in glowing terms about the reporting from The Salt Lake Tribune and that was when they did super reporting on the horrific rape and murder of Hser Ner Moo, a little Christian Burmese refugee, by a fellow refugee from Burma (a likely Rohingya) named Esar Met.

The Salt Lake Tribune actually sent a reporter to the camps in Thailand to get the full story.  But, that was before the Mormon church had drunk the koolaide on the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program and began enthusiastically welcoming refugees of all stripes to Utah.

Click here for all of my posts on this Utah murder case that was never thoroughly reported on a national level, but see what a good job the Trib did in its coverage.

(I think it was never widely reported because Esar Met didn’t fit the media image of a refugee—lovable, grateful and hardworking.)

Now back to my beef today with The Salt Lake Tribune…..

It is one thing to print false information in a letter, but surely the editorial page editor shouldn’t repeat the fake news in the headline!

Letter: Hatch and Lee shouldn’t allow an immigration critic to dismantle Reagan’s refugee system

As a returned Peace Corps volunteer who strongly supports our nation’s efforts to assist families fleeing conflict and persecution around the world, I share your deep concern (Tribune editorial: “Lee and Hatch Should Stand Against Mortensen,” June 2) about President Trump’s nomination of Ronald Mortensen as assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.

As a fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, a conservative think tank, Mortensen has been one of the nation’s harshest critics of immigration reform and has engaged in visceral attacks against Republican senators John McCain and Marco Rubio, the Mormon church, and evangelical leaders for their support of these reform efforts.

Clearly, the nomination of someone so controversial is one more step in the administration’s effort to dismantle the public-private partnership that has helped countless communities such as Salt Lake City resettle refugees successfully since President Ronald Reagan signed the current Refugee Act into law in 1980.

Under Mortensen, we can expect to see the complete dismantlement of our system of refugee resettlement that our nation has developed, refined and strengthened over the past four decades. I only hope our representatives in Congress, including Sens. Lee and Hatch, will speak out to oppose this nomination and work to restore our nation as a champion of freedom and hope for refugees around the world.

Eric Goldman, Salt Lake City

It should have taken Mr. Goldman, or the Trib editor, about 30 seconds to find out that it was the peanut farmer from Georgia, Jimmy Carter, who signed Ted Kennedy’s bill in to law in March of 1980.  (St. Patrick’s Day—cute for Teddy!)

Duh! Reagan wasn’t elected until November of that year!


Jimmy carter

Read all about it here:   //


But, I can’t place all the blame on the Lefties and the biased media for continuing to promote fake news.

One of the most egregious purveyors of this false information was Republican operative Grover Norquist.  We reported Norquist’s big lie in 2014, thanks to a reader tip!

Do not miss Norquist’s 2014 letter in which Republicans call for more refugee resettlement. See who signed the letter!***

However, Reagan did preside over a very large flow in to the country in the first year of the program.  I checked some numbers at the ORR Annual Report to Congress for 1980 and this is what I found (in rounded numbers):

Southeast Asians (Cambodia, Laos, VN): 167,000

Soviets (mostly Jews and religious minorities): 21,000

Eastern Europeans: 5,000

Cubans: 37,000

Middle Easterners: 2,000

Africans: 500

What did most of those refugees have in common?  They were escaping COMMUNISM, so Reagan likely had no problem welcoming them to the country.

Today those last 2 categories, Middle East and Africa, are among the largest refugee-producing regions of the world, some of it due to ongoing in-fighting among Muslims.

Unfortunately, The Salt Lake Tribune letter is behind a paywall, but if you feel strongly, please take time to comment!


*** I thought it best to take a screenshot of Norquist’s 2014 letter posted at Human Rights First, just in case it disappears!


norquist letter

Screenshot (504)

I suppose most of you are not surprised about these Republicans pushing for more refugee admissions to the US.  And, I guess before signing, they never bothered to check their facts about their primary argument—that Ronald Reagan created the program! NOT!