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Governor Robert D. Ray: Iowa Benefits From Refugees

posted on February 9, 2011 at 1:55 PM


Former Iowa Governor Robert Ray discusses how Iowa benefitted from the influx of refugees in 1975.

I think Iowa became more global. I think Iowans accepted diversity, again, not all but most Iowans did. And I think there's a different appreciation and understanding that we are part of a whole world, not just a part of our own being. And so I think Iowans have gotten much more global in their thinking.

And, of course, we have also had to do that economically and our businesses provide income from global sales.

I don't know that I'm going to try to delineate accomplishments or what I'm proud of. But I have to tell you that I am proud that we did a lot of good in saving a lot of lives. And we have been helped enormously as a result of that—both consciously and subconsciously.

Iowans are better for it. The people whose lives were saved are better because of what we did. And we did it together. And if I have to list, I would have to list this as something that I'm very, very proud of.

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