Justice

Homeland Star Mandy Patinkin Takes on the Refugee Crisis

December 8th 2015

By:
Laura Donovan

"Homeland" actor Mandy Patinkin just appeared in a powerful video for the International Rescue Committee (IRC) about the importance of embracing refugees. After wrapping up season five of the popular show, Patinkin headed to Lesbos, Greece to meet with refugees from Syria. What he saw deeply moved him.

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"The idea of these people coming across this 6-mile journey in these little boats is a stunning concept, piled on top of each other, risking their lives," Patinkin said, revealing the boat arriving in Greece along with a mountain of life jackets.

Mandy Patinkin refugee video

"This is all they had to keep them alive... As we all know, many people didn't make it. But thank God so many have. This is a graveyard of life preserve," Patinkin said.

Mandy Patinkin refugee video

Mandy Patinkin refugee video

After interacting with refugees firsthand, Patinkin said he struggles to understand how anyone wouldn't want to help the refugees.

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Mandy Patinkin refugee video

"I just don't get it," an impassioned Patinkin said. "I don't get how people in different countries all over the world can be frightened of people who suffered so much, who are so in need, who are so desperately asking to have freedom, justice and dignity. Just give them a welcome and let them into your home. After risking their lives under these conditions, give them a good shot. Help them, God almighty, help them."

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Patinkin also interviewed a mother named Aphroditi Mariolof who said that refugees risk death for a better life elsewhere.

Mandy Patinkin refugee video

"To put your children into these little dinghys and to put up with this weather and to come across in these conditions not knowing where you're going to go, you can't be anything less than desperate," Mariolof told Patinkin.

 

"I just don't get it. I don't get how people in different countries all over the world can be frightened of people who suffered so much, who are so in need, who are so desperately asking to have freedom, justice and dignity. Just give them a welcome."Our video from Mandy Patinkin's recent trip with IRC to Lesbos, Greece, in which he traveled to as soon as he wrapped shooting this season of Homeland. For more on Mandy's perspective on the refugee crisis, read his latest op-ed on the Washington Post: http://bit.ly/1IONmYV

Posted by International Rescue Committee on Monday, December 7, 2015


Patinkin also wrote about his experiences with the refugees in a Washington Post op-ed, opening the piece by saying he met a mother who was fleeing the Islamic State in Syria.

"Our governments will continue to work to prevent more horrific attacks such as those in Beirut and Paris," he wrote. "That is their job. On television, it’s a job I pretend to do. But as a citizen of the world, what I can do — what we all can do — is continue to be welcoming to those fleeing death and seeking life for themselves and for their children."

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Patinkin's video comes at a difficult moment for refugees looking to flee Syria. Following the Paris attacks several weeks ago, many politicians have voiced concerns over allowing refugees into the U.S. President Barack Obama said in an address to the nation on Sunday night that we must not discriminate against others if they are Muslim and that we should "reject religious tests on who we admit into this country."

Late last month, ATTN: worked with Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to produce a video on the rigorous refugee admission process. Watch below: