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September 09, 2015

Rubio: Hey Maybe The US Should Take In A Bunch Of Syrian Refugees


I didn't want to make yesterday's Syria post even longer so I split it up into two parts.

The Syrian refugees flooding across Europe are creating a massive problem for countries. Germany has opened its doors to tens of thousands of Syrians which Chancellor Angela Merkel says will "change the makeup of the country forever". You'd think maybe that's something people should have a say in but I guess not.

In the UK, Prime Minister David Cameron won reelection this year on a promise to curtail immigration and increase assimilation but has now decided to take in 20,000 Syrians. I guess even when people think they have a say in this sort of thing, they really don't.

The politics of this crisis is about to hit the US. Most presidential contentders have refused to comment on this. So far, Donald Trump says the we "have to" take in more. As have Lindsey Graham and for fun...Bob Corker. (Added: Scott Walker says he's not going to talk about this)

Carly Finornia is the only one who has said the US has done enough already . If she presses this in the debate next week, I think she'll see another bump in the polls.

The most interesting response so far has been from Marco Rubio. He has two competing story lines at play here. First, much of his campaign is based on how great America is for taking in his family from Cuba which makes opposition to accepting refugees....tricky. But he's also running on the idea we need to expand NSA surveillance because of the threat posed by ISIS.

He's trying to split the baby.

How can we ensure we're only letting in good people when we can't even vet Syrians in Syria to fight in our "moderate resistance" force?

And even if you can weed out current terrorists from the refugees you are still creating a future pool of recruits. That's not theory, it's happening now.

The Twin Cities are home to the largest Somali population in the U.S., an estimated 100,000 people. Refugees began settling in Minnesota after the government of Somalia collapsed in 1991. This isn't the first time the community has struggled to counter the appeal of violent extremism to the state's Somalis, but is much more puzzling. Somalis have no national or ethnic ties to Syria and Iraq, a link that helped explain why some went to fight with al-Shabab when Ethiopia invaded Somalia in 2006. Young men joining that terrorist group felt a nationalistic call to defend their nation against rival state Ethiopia, but many of those drawn to the Islamic State were born in the U.S. and have never been to Somalia, let alone Syria. Still in April, six Twin Cities youth were arrested for attempting to join the Islamic State group. At least one of the men has conspired to travel to Syria since 2014, according to prosecutors.

"As far as we know there is no one profile that brings [together] all these people who are leaving," says Abdisalam Adam, an imam at Dar Al-Hijrah Mosque in Minneapolis. "Some people say, 'Oh they are the ones who are not doing well,' or whatever. That's not true. There are some of them who have the opportunity of working, some are in school."

We can't figure out how or why it's happened before but we should set the table for it to happen again?

And don't forget the Boston Marathon bombers came here as refugees.

Here's an interesting note and a potential compromise. Many, if not most, of the refugees are men of military age.

How about we take in women and children and the men put down their selfie-sticks and join our little "moderate Syrian" army? If they aren't willing to fight for their homeland, their freedom and their families, then we have zero responsibility to care for them.

This is cold and heartless. I admit that. But if we're going to ask US citizens to pay the tab, financially and in terms of diminished liberty, for greater security from terrorists, then it seems a very obvious STEP 1 is...don't admit another large group of potential recruits for our enemy. Either ISIS and the fight against Islamic terrorism is one we are serious about or we're not. Team Hawk can't have it both ways.

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posted by DrewM. at 11:49 AM

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