Governors' Revolt Continues: No Syrian Refugees

As of Monday evening, the governors of twenty-four states have declared that they are not going to allow any Syrian refugees to be settled in their states. Barack Obama, predictably enough, is livid.

The governors have all cited, quite reasonably, the security risks involved in taking the refugees. The governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, noted that “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.” Robert Bentley, the governor of Alabama, agreed, explaining that he did not want any of the refugees in Alabama because “I will not stand complicit to a policy that places the citizens of Alabama in harm’s way.”

The governor of Massachusetts, Charlie Baker, was similarly security-minded: “No, I’m not interested in accepting refugees from Syria,” he said. “My view on this is the safety and security of the people of the Commonwealth of Mass. is my highest priority. So I would set the bar very high on this.” Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson stated simply that taking Syrian refugees at this time “is not the right strategy.”

Barack Obama remains convinced that it is exactly the right strategy.

He said that the Paris jihad massacre, which were perpetrated by, among others, at least two “refugees” who had just recently arrived in Europe, was just a “setback” that wouldn’t deter him in the slightest from pursuing his scheme to flood the U.S. with at least 10,000 refugees from Syria. He termed opposition to his plan “shameful,” casting American acceptance of the refugees as a moral imperative and saying: “We have to, each of us, do our part, and the United States has to step up and do its part.”

The United States has to do its part, in Obama’s view, but he didn’t explain, and of course was not challenged by his lapdog media, why Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar don’t have to do their part. Those countries, even though they have a linguistic, cultural and religious bond with the refugees, have accepted none of them at all all, citing the risk of terrorism. Why can’t Americans cite the same risk, and likewise refuse to take in these refugees?

Obama didn’t answer that question, but he did imply that objection to the refugees was really all about religious bigotry:

When I hear folks say that, well, maybe we should just admit the Christians but not the Muslims. When I hear political leaders suggesting that there would be a religious test for which person who’s fleeing from a war-torn country is admitted. When some of those folks themselves come from families who benefitted from protection when they were fleeing political persecution — That’s shameful. That’s not American. That’s not who we are. We don’t have religious tests to our compassion.

Fair enough. But do we have common sense limits to our compassion? If the “right-wing extremists” of the administration’s imagining were really as lethal as Islamic jihadis, Obama might have a point about not applying religious tests to our compassion. But unfortunately for Obama’s presentation of the issues involved in the refugee crisis, Christians are not waging jihad around the world. Christian terrorists did not boast last February that they would soon inundate Europe with 500,000 refugees – Muslim terrorists did. The Lebanese education minister did not recently warn that there were 20,000 Christian terrorists among the Syrian refugees in camps in his country – he said there were 20,000 active jihadis. It was not a Christian terrorist, but an Islamic State operative who boasted in September, shortly after the migrant influx into Europe began, that among the flood of refugees, 4,000 terrorists had already entered Europe.

Obama didn’t address those facts. Instead, he portrayed the refugees -- all of them -- as victims:

The people who are fleeing Syria are the most harmed by terrorism … It is very important ... that we do not close our hearts to these victims of such violence and somehow start equating the issue of refugees with the issue of terrorism.