Red States Respond To Paris Attacks By Refusing To Accept Refugees Fleeing ISIS

As we have heard — exhaustively — from our frenemies on the Right, all Muslims everywhere are responsible for the horrific attacks on Paris that killed and injured hundreds. Sure, these acts of terrorism were committed by a religious death cult, and Muslims around the world have joined in condemning ISIS for its cowardice and hatred, but to Republicans across the country Muslims as a whole are responsible — facts be damned!

In keeping with their tradition of bigoted exclusionism, red states have started to do something that is both depressing and unsurprising: Ohio, Louisiana, Florida, Michigan, Alabama, Texas, and Arkansas are punishing the victims of ISIS by refusing to accept Syrians fleeing the extremist faux-state. While conservatives were almost brought to hate-climax when they heard one of the terrorists was a Syrian refugee, new reports are surfacing that a reporter was able to buy the same fake Syrian passport the attacker used on the black market. Though there is shaky (at best) evidence linking attackers to those who wish to escape them, Islamophobes have seized upon the opportunity to deny refugees entry into their various states.

This year, the Michigan has accepted about 200 Syrian refugees from one agency alone, and there has not been a single terrorist attack — but to Governor Rick Snyder, the fact that these men, women, and children are Muslims is enough. “Michigan is a welcoming state and we are proud of our rich history of immigration,” Snyder said in a statement after suspending his state’s effort to settle Syrian refugees. “But our first priority is protecting the safety of our residents.”

“After full consideration of this weekend’s attacks of terror on innocent citizens in Paris, I will oppose any attempt to relocate Syrian refugees to Alabama through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. As your Governor, I will not stand complicit to a policy that places the citizens of Alabama in harm’s way,” Alabama Governor Robert Bentley said after deciding his state will continue to refuse refugees entry. This, of course, is a continuation of his we-don’t-take-kindly-to-your-type-round-here policy of not accepting a single refugee to date.

“I will not place Alabamians at even the slightest, possible risk of an attack on our people. Please continue to join me in praying for those who have suffered loss and for those who will never allow freedom to fade at the hands of terrorists,” the Alabama Governor said, ironically, after allowing freedom to fade at the hands of terrorists.

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Texas Governor Greg Abbott similarly feels that human beings fleeing ISIS are dangerous. In a public letter to President Obama, Abbott refused entry to refugees, urging the President to make his baseless disdain for Muslims as a whole national policy:

As governor of Texas, I write to inform you that the State of Texas will not accept any refugees from Syria in the wake of the deadly terrorist attack in Paris. Further, I – and millions of Americans – implore you to halt your plans to accept more Syrian refugees in the United States. A Syrian “refugee” appears to have been part of the Paris terror attack. American humanitarian compassion could be exploited to expose Americans to similar deadly danger. […]

Effective today, I am directing the Texas Health & Human Services Commission’s Refugee Resettlement Program to not participate in the resettlement of any Syrian refugees in the State of Texas. And I urge you, as president, to hatt your plans to allow Syrians to be resettled anywhere in the United States. Neither you nor any federal official can guarantee that Syrian refugees will not be part of any terroristic activity. As such, opening our door to them irresponsibly exposes our fellow Americans to unacceptable peril.

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson tweeted on Monday that he, too, doesn’t want to save children who are seeking refuge in America.

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Not one to miss out on the fun, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal announced that he has signed an Executive Order aimed at stopping all relocation of ISIS’ enemies in his state:

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Florida Governor Rick Scott sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan refusing to accept 425 possible Syrian refugees, though he notes that states do not have the ability to prevent federal funding from being used to relocate refugees “even without the support of the state.” Scott asked that Congress take action to allow states to refuse to help those in need.

Ohio Governor John Kasich also refused Monday to take any refugees ” because security and safety issues cannot be adequately addressed.” He says he is looking into additional steps the state of Ohio can take to avoid accepting refugees.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush takes a softer stance on refugees than his conservative friends. Last week, Bush explained that helping refugees is important — as long as those refugees are Christians. Senator Marco Rubio, who rides in the back seat of the GOP clown car with Bush, has also spoken out against accepting refugees. On Sunday, the 2016 hopeful told George Stephanopolous that:

“It’s not that we don’t want to — It’s that we can’t.”

Unfortunately for conservatives, we can and will help refugees. On Monday, President Obama was clear that the United States is not going to refuse to help ISIS’ enemies, reminding Americans that “many of these refugees are the victims of terrorism themselves”:

“As president, my first priority is the safety of the American people, and that’s why even as we accept more refugees, including Syrians, we do so only after subjecting them to rigorous screening and security checks.”

“That’s what they’re fleeing,” Obama said. “Slamming the door in their faces would be a betrayal of our values. Our nations can welcome refugees who are desperately seeking safety and ensure our own security. We can and must do both.”

Obama hammered Bush and all others who want to help only Christians. “That’s shameful,” the President said. “That’s not American. That’s not who we are. We don’t have religious tests to our compassion.”

President Obama says that the United States is still committed to accepting 10,000 refugees this fiscal year as part of what is surely viewed as some sort of “socialist” plot to admit 85,000 refugees total. All refugees who move to the U.S. are vetted by the government and usually the United Nations Refugee Agency in a grueling 18 to 24-month process. Refugee organizations involved in resettlement says that people screened in this way “are more thoroughly vetted than people who come to the U.S. in other manners, such as crossing a border or coming on a visitor or student visa,” the Huffington Post notes.

Unfortunately, as in the wake of 9/11, much of America has lost its soul. Fortunately, the president is standing firm, refusing to buy into the fear mongering of America’s own religious extremists.

Featured Image via Wikimedia Commons