President Obama showed his true colors today by urging Congress to vote in opposition of a bill that would curtail the amount of Syrian refugees coming in our country. Not only was this a bad decision for other countries in Europe, which are experiencing ridiculous amounts of extremism and strife, but for America, a target of the Islamic State, it could be downright deadly.
Thankfully, Congress passed the bill. While Obama likely will veto it, it puts a line in the sand about what the American people want for their country.
The measure, introduced this week following the Islamic State attacks in Paris last Friday that killed 129 people, was approved on a vote of 289 to 137, with 47 of Obama’s 188 fellow Democrats breaking with the White House to support the bill.
The vote followed a testy exchange between lawmakers and State Department official Anne Richard as Republicans responded with incredulity to her assertion that there is only a “very, very small” threat of any of them being a “terrorist.”
Some Republicans have asserted that some refugees could be militants bent on carrying out attacks against the United States, noting reports that at least one Paris attacker may have slipped into Europe among migrants registered in Greece.
The vote would give the bill the two-thirds majority the House would need to override a veto. The measure now goes to the U.S. Senate, which also is controlled by the Republicans although their Senate majority is slimmer. Both houses would have to muster a two-thirds majority to override a veto.
While many Americans see the United States historically as welcoming to immigrants, the issue of accepting refugees from Syria has raised concerns the newcomers may pose a national security threat in a country where about 3,000 people were killed by al Qaeda militants in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Under the proposal no refugees from Syria or Iraq could enter the United States until several top-level U.S. security officials verified they did not pose a threat.
Michael McCaul, Republican chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said the bill passed by the House would create “the most robust national security screening process in American history for any refugee population.”
The bill “strikes an important balance between security and our humanitarian responsibilities. It sets up roadblocks to keep terrorists from entering the United States while also allowing legitimate refugees who are not a threat to be resettled appropriately,” McCaul said.
While some may make the distinction of taking in Jews after the end of World War II, this situation is entirely different. There weren’t thousands of deaths dealt by Jews as a matter of ideology. There wasn’t a mass exodus because Jews were killing each other. To say that we’re turning away people that don’t have anywhere else to go is forgetting the fact that the vast majority of refugees are military-aged males and many have no issue in taking up arms against their host countries.
How would we save people from an uncertain fate if we still have countless issues within our borders to take care of?