The self-incriminating red flags of state Rep. Mike Moon’s ignorance are contained in the Missouri legislator’s letter.
“Unless I’m mistaken” and “If my information is correct” were phrases Moon wrote. Wednesday, he sent a letter requesting a special legislative session to persuade Gov. Jay Nixon to join the pack of governors feebly trying to shutter Syrian refugees from resettlement in the U.S.
Yes, Rep. Moon, you are mistaken. Yes, Rep. Moon, your information is incorrect.
In his letter, Moon professes to believe that a Syrian Muslim refugee could utter a fib and sneak past authorities. No. Not in a vetting process that takes up to two years, includes biometric data and goes through multiple government agencies. We don’t just politely ask people if they’d like to come to the U.S.
The FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center, the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security, the National Counterterrorism Center, the Department of Defense and U.S. intelligence agencies are all involved in screening refugee applications. A separate layer of security checks was added by Homeland Security for Syrian refugees, long before the Paris terrorist attacks.
Congress was told of all this in October through testimony by the secretary for homeland security, Jeh Johnson. It was also informed that these agencies are constantly updating measures for increased security.
Yet that same Congress is pitching the American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act this week, seeking to create a separate system of “certifying” refugee applicants, seemingly oblivious to what is already in place. If passed, the bill would undercut current measures and take years to implement. That’s not safety, that’s bureaucracy.
Rep. Moon doesn’t appear to know any of this.
Immigration is a complicated, vast aspect of our government. But it’s not difficult to track this information down. Especially not now, after the Islamic terrorists’ attacks in Paris.
Another factor Moon should note: Authorities now believe that the Syrian passport found at one scene of the Paris attacks is a fake. So that bit, part of what launched this whole charade against the refugees, is still partly a mystery.
Trepidations rose when people thought that one of the Paris attackers had moved within the migrant populations fleeing Syria. But that fear never should have been attached to Syrian refugees. Migrants streaming into Europe on passports is different from people resettling permanently into the U.S. as refugees, who go through massive security checks.
So far, all of the identified terrorists are European nationals.
Moon’s letter is pitch perfect for how fear, wrapped in misinformation, is all-consuming.
Angst about Syrian refugees plays well among some voters. And these politicians gutlessly prefer bowing to uninformed constituents, rather than trying to inform them. The last thing a terrified America needs is politicians who play into fears more than they help guide toward safety.
Gov. Nixon was right in his two-sentence statement underlining the federal government’s role in deciding who is granted the coveted refugee status. He also appropriately called for continued federal diligence to ensure the safety of Americans.
He didn’t make reaches, professing to keep Missourians safe by recasting a whole category of people as possible terrorists.
Moon didn’t capitalize the word Muslim in his letter. Maybe he missed grammar class during the lesson on proper nouns.
More likely, the slight is indicative of where this freight train of nativism is rushing. The U.S. Supreme Court has been very clear that states cannot limit who moves in and out of them. Yet we have governors nationwide, including Kansas’ Sam Brownback, casting about for ways to keep Syrian refugees out.
Moon and these governors are playing an old game. It’s the one where politicians find it expedient to react with high anxiety and ask questions later — or not at all.