Carstens: Not allowing refugees protects our people

Courtney Carstens

Within the past few weeks, we have seen the terrorists attacks in Paris, attacks in other parts of the world claimed by ISIS and the mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., which has been under ISIS suspicion from the very start. With all of these tragedies combined, the world has realized — now more than ever — just how powerful this terrorist group really is. Because of the severity of these particular events that have taken place, I have now sided with the multiple governors across the United States who have refused Syrian refugee admittance into their state.

Many people can make a similar argument, as I have before, that we need to help these people because it is our job as Americans, as a country of immigrants, but I have now seen the error of my ways.

In response to the Paris attacks, 31 states have refused to provide asylum to Syrian refugees. Primarily, many governors have done this because of the fear that ISIS members have disguised themselves as Syrian refugees.

This fear has become reality.

A terrorist killed more than 120 people during the Paris attacks and made his way through Europe disguised as a Syrian refugee, according to CNN’s senior correspondent Christiane Amanpour and producer Thom Patterson. Additionally, eight people were arrested in Istanbul after being suspected of being ISIS members.

The police found a hand-drawn map of how to get to Germany in possession of one of the men. Normally this wouldn’t be a legitimate reason for an arrest but this particular map showed elaborate details on how to join refugees via smuggler boats, buses and trains. A stick-man figure holding a flag was found at the bottom of the map.

Those are just two of the multiple examples of ISIS members disguising themselves as Syrian refugees, and yet many still believe that we should be allowing these people into our country at the risk of so many.

More than 320 million people live in the United States, while the Syrian Refugee population just peaked at 4 million people. Looking at this situation, we need to be concerned for the larger population. When trying to help a group of people whose population is equivalent to about 1 percent of our country’s population, we must ask, would the ends justify the means if a portion of Syrian refugees are really ISIS members, and the United States witnesses another attack like 9/11?

No, we can’t let this happen.

Why should we be ready to allow tens of thousands of strangers into our country when the threat is so real? House Speaker Paul Ryan explained quite well to CNN reporters that “This is a moment where it is better to be safe than to be sorry, so we think the prudent, the responsible thing is to take a pause in this particular aspect of this refugee program in order to verify that terrorists are not trying to infiltrate the refugee population.”

We are not being selfish by not wanting to allow these people into our country, we are being protective of the people who already live here as citizens, immigrants and those are legally here. While I am not a Donald Trump supporter, he did make one good comment about the situation at hand. “France has closed its borders. You do not lock the front door of your house because you hate the people outside. You lock it because you love the people inside. A country’s border is its front door.”

We may be a country that allows immigrants to live here, and the Statue of Liberty may have inscribed on her a passage about letting immigrants, the sick and other groups of people on our land, but we cannot be blinded by this. Generosity only goes so far until it becomes stupidity on our part.