HONOLULU, Nov. 18, 2015 – At first, the Democrats only wanted to give blanket amnesty to the millions of illegal immigrants living undocumented in the United States. Now, in the wake of Syria’s ongoing civil war and the worldwide campaign of chaos being waged by ISIS, Democratic talking heads insist that we take things a step further by welcoming upwards of 10,000 Syrian refugees into our borders.
Even in the deep blue, safe-Democratic stronghold of Hawaii, Gov. David Ige (D) drew the shock of traditionally liberal voters when he suggested that he would “welcome with aloha” Syrian refugees into the 50th state. Americans, as compassionate as they are on both the left and right, simply do not understand – especially in light of multiple recent ISIS attacks – what is motivating Democrats to inoculate the country with so many war refugees from a place as culturally complex and geographically far removed from Main Street, USA, as Syria.
International tradition, dating as far back as the Peace of Westphalia and beyond, is rich with historical precedent for temporarily sheltering persons displaced by war, famine, plague, or natural disaster. We all get that. But listening to the arguments of elected Democrats and liberal media pundits, one gets the impression that every Syrian refugee who flees from the region is to be automatically translated into an American (or in the case of the EU, a Western European) citizen simply on the basis that this is the “compassionate” thing to do. That’s not “accepting refugees,” that’s recolonization.
Refugees are guests, not newly minted citizens
President Obama’s proposed refugee plan distributes Syrians across more than a dozen states in the continental U.S. over the next year, effectively integrating them directly into the heart of Main Street. Context matters. These are not 1975-era South Vietnamese refugees fleeing from a defeated U.S. ally, who may have been the sweetheart or dependent of a U.S. State Department officer, an AVRN soldier, a friendly contractor who provided dry cleaning services for Marines or young college people who depended on the surety of U.S. backing to preserve their free republic. These are not asylum-seeking U.S. allies who are without a home, facing arrest and execution by U.S. enemies; Syrian refugees have a home, and they don’t want to take back their home from Assad or ISIS.
Syria is not a U.S. ally. The Syrians, however, are allies with the Russians, who prior to the civil war had a significant naval military presence there. Unlike the South Vietnamese, there is no common ground or close cultural connection between the U.S. and Syria. Refugees from this region owe no friendship or allegiance to the U.S. or any of her allies. There is absolutely no reason to mint these temporary guests as permanent citizens in any of the U.S. or NATO countries. Furthermore, there is no way even with advanced technology to absolutely screen out terrorist infiltrators from refugees. President Obama’s supposedly high-tech biometrics filters only individuals with ties to known terrorist organizations, it cannot and does not filter against individuals with personal agendas to wreak havoc in a host state.
Do it the Cold War way
The traditional Westphalian approach to dealing with a refugee exodus works in one of two ways. One, states can close their borders and refuse to accept any refugees. Two, states can create refugee camps where refugees stay until the crisis is resolved, and then they return home. There is absolutely no reason why the United Nations Security Council can’t create a neutral, jointly administered “international zone” in a hospitable, yet remote corner of the world where Syrian refugees can be kept comfortable and safe and then later returned to Syria after Assad is gone or ISIS is defeated. If any of the refugees turn out to be terrorists or hostile individuals, they can be arrested at once without having any chance to cause havoc at the heart of Western cities, as we witnessed last week in Paris.
Let the UNSC rent an uninhabited island or tract of land somewhere, build a temporary city just for the Syrian evacuees, and split the operations cost and manpower staffing between member states. How hard can that be? Don’t subsidize the decline of a failing state by encouraging the exodus of her population; give the Syrians the pride and honor of returning back to their homeland.
Anyone who travels internationally and who is forced to land in an airport other than the country of his destination is accustomed to being placed in a separate, secure part of the airport until his plane is ready or access is granted to his destination. That’s basic international tradition. It would be an absurd thought to suggest that an American citizen, grounded by a malfunctioning aircraft and forced to stay overnight in Berlin Tegel Airport, should suddenly become a German citizen because of circumstance and “compassion.” Get real. As soon as the American is able to leave, he leaves – and thank God for that. Why then should Syrian refugees be any different?
Where does the slippery slope of this policy end? How will the U.S. say no to refugees the next time another civil war or crisis emerges elsewhere in the world? What about the 578,424 homeless U.S. citizens living within our own borders? Who resettles them? Who feeds them? If a homeless, unemployed, 50-something- year-old woman down on her luck in New York City were to run to the French or German embassy demanding citizenship, shelter, relocation to a nicer European city, a job, medical benefits and social safety nets, would she receive it? What if she fled to Saudi Arabia? Would they take her? Don’t count on it.
What happened to America’s Democrats? Their new brand of “sympathy” and “compassion” is malevolence, not genuine kindness. Why are they advocating these absurd policy positions? Between Obama’s inability as commander-in-chief to neutralize the ISIS threat, to recent party grandstanding over Syrian refugees, Democratic policy almost seems structured to bringing about the collapse of the traditional American way of life.
We should not tolerate Democratic attempts to recolonize America with Syrian refugees or any other foreign populace. This policy is not only dangerous for national security, but it is destructive to social justice, in light of the fact that there are thousands of people who already have family ties to our country and have been waiting to legally become U.S. citizens, only to have alien war refugees take precedence over them. These destructive policies have the potential to leave lasting effects long after those who established them have left office. If we have to be “compassionate” with these widows and orphans, be compassionate by putting them in a secured temporary refugee area, not in Main Street, USA.
Dr. de Gracia is a political scientist, an ordained minister, a former elected official and the author of the new political thriller “American Kiss,” available now from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and other major bookstores. DISCLOSURE: Danny de Gracia is an elected Republican district chairman, but his opinions are expressly his own and do not reflect the official opinion of any organization.