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Walter F. Mondale: Welcoming Refugees from Southeast Asia

posted on April 4, 2007

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Former Vice President Walter Mondale talks about the legacy of resettling refugees from Southeast Asia. The refugees lives weren’t the only ones changed.

You know, it's one thing to try to come to grips with an abstraction, read people are suffering in Vietnam, they're being pushed out of Cambodia. It's another thing to have them in your neighborhood and to be able to get to know them, and maybe go to church together, or to see them get elected to the city council, or something like that and hire them for your business. It carries a much different, more profound lesson. It has to strike you.

What do you think the lesson is?

I think that being generous, being pragmatic, remembering in this case America's connection to the problem, and seeing how America can, has the stature if it will use it, to lead the world into a better place. I think those are some of the lessons that I remember about it.

Tags: activism Asia immigration Iowa legacy refugees