It’s no shocker that liberals either mock–or view with contempt–the Republican position on Syrian refugees. Governors from 31 states have refused to participate in relocation efforts due to security concerns, which isn’t a small thing. The FBI has stated openly that they do not have the ability to screen every Syrian refugee. Ten thousand are on their way over here, and over 2,000 have already entered the country. President Obama even said that GOP rhetoric over this issue is great recruiting material for ISIS, while adding that Republicans are scared of three-year old orphans. Yes, governors don’t have the authority to close their borders, but their refusal to help with relocation does create a headache for the Obama administration. Nevertheless, there are some on the left, like blogger Kevin Drum, who feel this open mockery of Republicans will come off as out of touch to the average voter (via Mother Jones):
Here’s the thing: to the average person, it seems perfectly reasonable to be suspicious of admitting Syrian refugees to the country. We know that ISIS would like to attack the US. We know that ISIS probably has the wherewithal to infiltrate a few of its people into the flood of refugees. And most voters have no idea how easy it is to get past US screening. They probably figure it’s pretty easy.
So to them it doesn’t seem xenophobic or crazy to call for an end to accepting Syrian refugees. It seems like simple common sense. After all, things changed after Paris.
Mocking Republicans over this—as liberals spent much of yesterday doing on my Twitter stream—seems absurdly out of touch to a lot of people.
Mocking it is the worst thing we could do. It validates all the worst stereotypes about liberals that we put political correctness ahead of national security. It doesn’t matter if that’s right or wrong. Ordinary people see the refugees as a common sense thing to be concerned about. We shouldn’t respond by essentially calling them idiots. That way lies electoral disaster.
Drum does add that there is a tough screening process, contrary to what the FBI has reported, but added that it’s more important for liberals to join conservatives in treating it like the legitimate issue that it is to the American public. I know I say this often, but even broken clocks are right twice a day. Moreover, it certainly doesn’t help liberals who carry this nonchalant attitude towards national security that terrorists have feigned refugee status to enter the country.
In 2013, ABC News reported that two al-Qaeda operatives faked refugee status and were living in Bowling Green, Kentucky in 2009. As a result, the State Department placed a hold on processing Iraqi refugees for six months in 2011, which meant some Iraqis who we used as translators and for intelligence were delayed entry. The two suspects at the time, Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, later admitted to attacking American soldiers:
Several dozen suspected terrorist bombmakers, including some believed to have targeted American troops, may have mistakenly been allowed to move to the United States as war refugees, according to FBI agents investigating the remnants of roadside bombs recovered from Iraq and Afghanistan.
The discovery in 2009 of two al Qaeda-Iraq terrorists living as refugees in Bowling Green, Kentucky — who later admitted in court that they’d attacked U.S. soldiers in Iraq — prompted the bureau to assign hundreds of specialists to an around-the-clock effort aimed at checking its archive of 100,000 improvised explosive devices collected in the war zones, known as IEDs, for other suspected terrorists’ fingerprints.
It’s happened before, folks.
Editor’s note: This was cross-posted over at Townhall.