In light of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, is it time to refocus our immigration debate to those coming from countries with known terrorist ties?

Myrtle Beach, SC, Orlando, FL November 25, 2015

Sheffield, Jamaica Correspondent-“Why do bad things happen to good people?” In light of the recent attack in Paris by terrorists, that question comes to the fore. Simply put, bad things happen to good people because of ‘unexpected occurrences.’  This attack could have been made in any other country, with the same devastating effect. Regardless of the location, 130 lives were claimed (according to Sky News), leaving relatives and friends behind to suffer. Since unforeseen occurrences befall us all, it’s our Government’s responsibility to refocus immigration debates to ensure an event, such as the attack in Paris, never re-surfaces.

Looking back at the immigration laws should lessen the effects these terrorists have on any country. Once a particular person is known to have some ties to countries steeped in terrorism, especially from Iraq and Syria, strong measures and precautions should be taken. In fact, if individuals from these countries are allowed entry into our country, they should be watched with scrutiny. I’m sorry, the good will have to suffer for the bad. This should all be done in an attempt to protect our people from the senselessness of ISIS and those who want to be recruited by them. Too many lives have been lost. It’s time we take control and not live in fear of what these heinous people can do. We need to stop them in their tracks. If it means refocusing our immigration debate, so be it.

Gastonia, NC Correspondent-Focusing on the countries believed to be the sources of terrorism is like staking out your local Irish pub looking for IRA bombers.  Just this week, five suspected Syrian terrorists were arrested with forged Greek passports giving no indication of their actual country of origin.

The simple fact is, especially in this age in which the average person can purchase printers capable of turning out authentic-looking documents and skilled hackers can “create” people online who appear perfectly real, there’s not much chance that we’re going to catch the bad guys by looking at their countries of origin.

That’s not to say that we shouldn’t focus our military efforts on Iraq, Syria and other countries known to be havens for those who wish harm to the US and other Western nations.  It’s patently obvious that that region is their power base.  However, it’s doubtful that a terrorist is going to present himself for normal immigration screening into the U.S., given the exhaustive background checks and other security protocols set in place, especially when it comes to those trying to present themselves as being refugees.

Ask the thousands of Latin and South American applicants for asylum how long it takes to get entry in the U.S. approved.  The wheels turn with excruciating slowness, and grind the facts down incredibly fine.  By the time a refugee is granted asylum, we know everything but what they want for Christmas and which Avenger is their favorite.

With advances in facial recognition software, it’s almost impossible that any known or suspected terrorist could enter the country via legal means.  New algorithms can “see through” beards and all manner of professional disguises.  It’s far more likely that they’ll attempt to enter surreptitiously and blend in with populations here.

Banning or restricting immigrants from Syria or other war-torn nations is not solving the problem, but it might well be making us a whole new crop of antagonists. 

Owatonna, MN-Yes, the United States should refocus our immigration debate, because we haven’t been debating the most important subtopic: the root cause of why any particular group of immigrants wants or needs to come to the United States.

In more cases than not—Korea, Viet Nam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Syria, in addition to numerous smaller waves of immigration—our aggressive, war-making foreign policy has created the need for thousands of people to leave their native countries and seek asylum in the United States.

If we had not gotten involved in the Korean conflict, would we have had a wave of Korean refugees seeking to avoid living under repressive communist regimes? If we had not engaged in the Viet Nam War, would we have had a wave of Vietnamese, Laotian, and Cambodian refugees seeking protection from vengeful governments who took control of those countries and began slaughtering political enemies? If we had not gotten involved in the Middle East beginning in 1991 with the first Iraq War, would terrorism have mushroomed into the worldwide crisis it has become, with virtually every nation friendly with the United States at risk of being attacked by radical, religious fundamentalist suicide bombers?

We have made the mistake of playing the terrorists’ game by forcing ourselves into their land uninvited, greedily taking their only valuable resource, oil, and disregarding their culture and individual rights by trying to impose our values and control upon them. This creates hatred of our Western capitalistic ways and incites young, disaffected people to sign up in ever-growing numbers for jihad against non-Muslims.

The debate topic needs to be, “How can we extract our armies, oil companies, and political interests from the Middle East, yet still buy oil from these countries and ensure that no refugees are produced?” Then we won’t be forced to play the impossible-to-win game of policing the entry of thousands or millions into our country in order to weed out a handful of terrorists?

Until the U.S. Government switches to a policy that doesn’t generate terrorists to begin with, we’ll be doomed to harm exponentially more lives than we save by stopping a handful of people who wish to harm our country.

Prescott Valley, AZ Correspondent-It is long past time to refocus our immigration debate concerning those coming from countries with known terrorist ties.  The numbers immigrating into the United States from Middle Eastern countries have reached serious proportions, and those associated with ISIS, and other terrorist linked countries, are certainly among those arriving, or about to arrive.  Admitting extensive numbers of people from these countries is a recipe for disaster.

The immigration debate must be discussed and coordinated according to current immigration laws on the books that have been repeatedly ignored by the current administration.  If most Americans had their way, and say-so, it would begin and end with an all-out moratorium on direct immigration from terrorist linked countries, as well as deportation of those in the country illegally.  Other aspects related to the immigration debate involve vetting or investigating those that are making their way to the United States as well as those already within the country.  A system of registration and surveillance must be put in place to keep track of those entering, whether coming in as single men (of military age), women, or children.  Every location they inhabit must be part of the registration process, and no travel should be allowed out of these areas without strict guidelines concerning movement.  They must neither be allowed to populate large areas of cities or towns nor occupy large sections of property to use as staging grounds for possible terrorist activities.

Establishing a records system or “watch list” of those suspected of any criminal-related and terrorist activities is another issue that requires strict scrutiny and enforcement.  Whether possible terrorist activities are funneled through mosques, organizations such as CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), the Muslim Brotherhood, the American Muslim Council, and hundreds of other Islamic-related groups based in America, not to mention Islamic terrorist training camps already existing within a number of states. These organizations must be monitored with extreme vigilance to protect our country from the kind of attacks that Paris recently experienced.  Surveillance on key individuals within these groups must be another critical part of the process.  All of these factors or aspects must be set in place to guarantee the safety of the American people and the homeland in general.

With the majority of immigrants set to arrive from Syria, vetting these individuals appears to be an impossible task and even FBI Director, Robert Comey, admits that there is very little information on anyone coming out of Syria for resettlement in the United States.  With the unstable situation in Syria, police records, intelligence service reports, personal profiles and other valuable evidence simply do not exist. Non-existent background information will allow thousands of Syrians and others to go unnoticed and untouched.  American authorities will be forced into criminal and terrorist investigations with no hard facts on which to base any law breaking or immigration infraction issues.  To stop the flow of Syrian refugees, other asylum seekers, and possible terrorists from embedding themselves within America, they should be placed in secured and safe havens within Syria or other countries within the Middle East.  In order to transfer them to areas of safety, allied forces and NATO should work together to provide what is necessary to allow these groups to remain in their home countries rather than populating both America and Europe through feel-good immigration policies.

2 thoughts on “In light of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, is it time to refocus our immigration debate to those coming from countries with known terrorist ties?

    1. Point well made; while many agree there are those who would open the borders for asylum.

      Should a line be drawn in the sand, so to speak, that we do not cross? Where do we draw the line and how do we ensure safety?

      Definitely not a black and white issue here.

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