JIM CREES: Let’s not punish the victims of ISIS
So ... how exactly do you do that?
When Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder joined 31 GOP counterparts in vowing to make sure no Syrian refugees entered Michigan (and other states), the first question that popped into my noggin was ...
How? How they gonna stop ‘em?
It’s shinola. The whole thing is a matter of pandering ... and knee-jerk fear-mongering.
The fact is, any person legally in the United States — citizen, resident alien, tourist, refugee, anyone — can move from state to state without restriction. If a refugee is in this country legally, he or she can move from wherever they happen to be, to Michigan unobstructed.
How does Gov. Rick plan on stopping them? Block every entrance from Ohio or Indiana with State Police vehicles?
And what about folks showing up at Michigan’s ports of entry on tourist visas? They are vetted a LOT less seriously than are refugees.
And then there is the moral question. Refugees are by definition ... refugees.
When do we decide to close the borders to men, women and children fleeing danger and hoping beyond hope for a quiet place in which to raise a normal family?
And when did we start identifying refugees from ISIS with ISIS?
How scared of the bogeyman have we become?
In a review published by the Migration Policy Institute it has been reported that “ ... of the 745,000 refugees resettled in the U.S. since 9/11, two men have been charged with terrorism-related crimes.”
Only two. Two out of 745,000.
And this was not for blowing something up or threatening anyone, but rather for “ ... providing funds for a terrorist organization in another country, not the United States.”
So, there has not been one single shooting or stabbing from a person having escaped to these shores from the chaos and confusion of the Middle East. At the same time, however, crazy guys with unlimited access to weaponry and a deep-seated desire to see their names in the local newspaper or on CNN have killed 23 people and wounded 12 others in three public shootings — just this year!
We can take frantic action and try to limit access to our country by people who have done nothing — killed no one — since 2001, but in that same period of time we do nothing to preempt the home-grown kooks who have killed 159 people and injured 117 in mass shootings.
What’s more, people running for office win support (a scary amount of support) not by saying things that’ll calm the situation, but rather things that simply fire up the fear.
Donald Trump says if elected president he would “absolutely implement a registry of Muslims” in the United States and close down mosques as well.
When asked how he would do this, Trump replied, “Different places. You sign up at different places. But it’s all about management. Our country has no management.’’
You do realize he actually said nothing ... right?
(It’s interesting to note that after saying what he said, Trump once again blamed newspaper reporters for what HE said.)
Then Jeb Bush said, “We should focus our efforts as it relates to refugees on the Christians that are being slaughtered.”
Really? He’s not the only one who suggested we need to accept Christian refugees but not necessarily Muslim refugees.
So ... how exactly does one test for Christianity?
Do you ask a refugee to name eight out of 12 of the disciples?
Do you ask for baptismal records?
Do you ask them to quote John 3:16?
Is there a Christian gene we can swab for?
If I were a refugee from a country in which most of my relatives had been killed and my village had been totally destroyed, and I was told I couldn’t enter the U.S. unless I was a Teletubby, I would paint myself purple and put a triangle on my head!
The easiest thing in the world is to claim to be a Christian. Millions of Americans do so all the time when they have nothing to show for it!
Ted Cruz says we should accept Syrian Christians but opening our gates to Syrian Muslims is “ ... in a word, lunacy.” He also pointed out the entire problem is “... a crisis of President Obama’s own creation.”
I return to the numbers — 745,000 refugees since 2001, and not one murder or terror attack.
The GOP candidates and governors are so nutty even Evangelical Christians are stumbling in support of them. The National Association of Evangelicals president Leith Anderson released a statement in response to some of the blather being repeated by politicians saying, “Of course we want to keep terrorists out of our country, but let’s not punish the victims of ISIS for the sins of ISIS.
“We are horrified and heartbroken by the terrorist atrocities in Paris, but must not forget that there are thousands more victims of these same terrorists who are fleeing Syria with their families and desperately need someplace to go.”