As GOP governors pop out of the ground and declare they will refuse the entry of Syrian refugees into the states they govern, the angrier I become. The Constitution of the United States makes it expressly clear that governors CANNOT refuse refugees. Period. The Constitution was drafted as a living document which can be added to and/or partially revised as the American people move into the future. However, the Constitution cannot bend to suit anyone’s hateful rhetoric. The Constitution does not lean one way or the other, it is designed to suit all people, not just Americans but around the world, in the same fashion. Therefore, refusing to accept refugees into the United States is a violation of Constitutional law. Anyone who is familiar with Constitutional law, should know that violating it is an impeachable offense.
If you want to read more about this law, you can do so here: Refugee Act of 1980
If you are unfamiliar with the situation, allow me to sum it up for you. Paris was recently attacked by a terrorist group known as ISIS. ISIS primarily operates out of Syria, and because of the violence they have caused, thousands of Syrians are seeking refuge in other countries. Several states led by Republican governors have stated that they will refuse entry of refugees into the states they govern. However, Gov. Dan Malloy of Connecticut, stated that it is our obligation to accept these refugees. Connecticut residents are calling and emailing Gov. Malloy, screaming at him to refuse refugees also. People are actually creating petitions, and signing them, in the hopes that they will somehow persuade Gov. Malloy to refuse these people.
One of the most common arguments I see is, “We should take care of our own first!”. I beg your pardon? They are us. They are just as much a part of the human race as we are. Many people have photos circulating Facebook which try to say that homelessness is a more important issue than helping Syrian refugees. Why can’t we help ALL people?
Another grotesque argument is, “How do we know they aren’t terrorists?” Well, how do you know they are? Where is your evidence that a human being is a terrorist? Other than their ethnicity, background, clothing or name.
When I look back on September 11th, 2001, and the weeks after the attack on the Twin Towers, I remember how quickly the hatred boiled over throughout this country. Innocent people who had come here, built their homes and businesses here, had children here, were violently attacked, racially profiled by police and told they should “go back to their country”. Go back to where, exactly? They are already in their country. This hatred very easily fueled the fear, which then fueled the invasion of Iraq for weapons of mass destruction that didn’t actually exist. I remember in my Anatomy and Physiology class in high school, our teacher asked us who thought the weapons were in Iraq, and out of 25+ students, I was the only one who did not raise my hand. When asked why, I simply stated, “Where is the proof?”
I think when terror attacks happen, we need to look back on our history and remember events that transpired after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Many people my age and a bit older, were not alive during World War II. Japanese people began immigrating to the United States in the mid to late 1800’s, primarily the West Coast. Our government actually believed that Japanese-Americans, people who had built their homes, businesses and lives in their country, were capable of being spies for the Japanese government. So Roosevelt decided that the best way to calm that fear was to corral thousands of innocent people into internment camps. Their reasoning was “How do we know they aren’t spies?”. The Japanese-Americans were blamed for the acts of the government from their birth country, or in many cases, a country that they were never born in. There were many “stories” and accusations made without any evidence, so any claims by the U.S. government that they found Japanese spies during WWII have to be deemed false. A more in-depth explanation of what it was like for Japanese-Americans during WWII: Densho – Background
Even though we have a Constitution and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, to protect us from atrocities like these, as well as President Obama who genuinely cares about these refugees, who will protect them after his second term is finished? The GOP have no problem blaming an entire group of people, for the acts of a few, and many Americans have no problem supporting that hatred.