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Missing the point

Tuesday, Nov 17, 2015 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Well, yeah

“States lack legal authority to refuse to accept refugees (or any other immigrants) that are admitted by the federal [government],” [Adam Cox, a New York University Law School professor who is an expert in immigration and constitutional law] wrote in an email.

* And, of course

“There are no barriers, no requirements in the Refugee Act of 1980 that indicate a governor has to give permission to resettle in a state,” [Anna Crosslin, the president of International Institut] said. “That’s all a federal process.”

That’s pretty obvious. We can’t just shut our state borders.

* But the states do have some leverage

That’s not to say that states can’t make it difficult for Syrian refugees to settle once they are admitted to the United States. Once refugees are on their way to the United States, the State Department works with nine nongovernmental agencies that contract with the federal government on resettlement. Together they decide where to place refugees around the country, based on factors like the availability of jobs and housing and whether there is a local community from their home country that may be helpful, explained Kathleen Newland, a senior fellow at the Migration Policy Institute.

“States do have a role in the refugee resettlement process post admission, and it would certainly be possible for them to obstruct the resettlement process,” she said.

States could instruct their employees not to cooperate with the resettlement program, or they could freeze state-level refugee benefits or federal refugee benefits distributed by the states.


* Meanwhile

All of the attackers from Friday’s massacre in Paris so far have been identified as European Union nationals, according to a top EU official. The announcement further casts doubt on the validity of a Syrian passport found near the bodies of a slain attacker.

“Let me underline, the profile of the terrorists so far identified tells us this is an internal threat,” Federica Mogherini, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, said after a meeting with EU foreign ministers. “It is all EU citizens so far. This can change with the hours, but so far it is quite clear it is an issue of internal domestic security.”

The majority of attackers were identified as French or Belgian nationals. An Egyptian passport was also found, but the Egyptian Ambassador to France said it belonged to a critically wounded victim and not a perpetrator. The Syrian passport caused a ruckus, with some politicians in Europe and the U.S. calling for a halt to Syrian refugee resettlement. An increasing number of state governors are trying to defund the settlement program. American officials told CBS News that the passport might be fake, while British-daily the Independent reported that a man was arrested in Serbia while carrying a Syrian passport with matching details to the one found in Paris.

* Related…

* ADDED: The Economist: After refugees are referred by an American embassy or the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, they are screened by Department of State Resettlement Service Centers all over the world. They undergo multiple investigations of their biographies; biometric checks of their fingerprints and photographs; in-depth interviews by highly trained Department of Homeland Security officers; medical screenings as well as investigations by the National Counterterrorism Center and by intelligence agencies. The entire process can take longer than three years. If a potential terrorist is determined to enter America to do harm, there are easier and faster ways to get there than by going through the complex refugee resettlement process.

* ADDED: Sen. Dick Durbin: “I want to add my voice to others here today in sharing my deepest condolences and solidarity with the people of that great nation,” said Durbin. “Some have reacted to the tragedy in France by calling for us to suspend refugees coming to this country. Many of these people have not reflected on the refugee situation in our country. Each year, the United States accepts about 70,000 refugees from around the world. These refugees are each carefully investigated, reviewed, and vetted. That process takes anywhere from 18 to 24 months before a refugee from any part of the world is allowed to enter the United States. We do everything humanly possible and take extraordinary efforts to make certain that dangerous people do not arrive on our shores. That vetting process must continue, and when it comes to suspicious circumstances, must be doubled in its intensity to make certain that our nation is safe. But those who are focusing on that as the answer to what happened in Paris are very shortsighted.”

* ADDED: McCarthy at counterterrorism workshop: Tactics must change: “I think the nature of hostage situations has also changed, because [the Paris gunmen] took hostages, but what were they doing? They were killing them. So we can’t use those tactics that we’ve used in the past where we surround, contain, talk, try and negotiate. We’re going to be in a combat situation if these things happen and we have to adjust our strategies in that way.”

* Chicago mayor says his Paris trip for climate meeting is still on despite ‘vile attack’

* Gutierrez rips Rauner move to ban Syrian refugees

* Alderman Rips Rauner in Letter to Obama


  1. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 11:19 am:

    I once again admonish commenters to keep your tone civil. If you can’t do that, go post your rants somewhere else. The Internet is a big place.

  2. - Abe the Babe - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 11:24 am:

    This just highlights how silly the policy is. States cant refuse immigrants but they can make it more difficult for them to come here.

    They are doing nothing to ensure that the immigrants are not threats and they are only serving to make the process harder for those who really need help.

    Its empty rhetoric found on a bumper sticker and transformed into state policy. You can disagree with how the federal government is vetting these immigrants but trying to obstruct an inevitable process that will end up punishing law abiding refugees is idiocy. Run for congress and introduce a bill if you want to change immigration policy. Sheesh

  3. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 11:26 am:

    The anti-immigrant, anti-refugee hysteria is a product of the ignorance that’s been peddled about widely by xenophobes and their allies. It explains why Donald Trump continues to lead the field for the Republican nomination. It is why most, but not all, of these cowardly governors are Republicans.

    I refuse to be intimidated by terrorists. I refuse to give up my values because of fear. And I hope my country won’t get baited into another never-ending military commitment in the middle East. This is a civil war between Sunni and Shia Muslims, between Saudi Arabia and Iran. No amount of U.S. military force will end this.

    But let’s not wet our collective pants about some refugees. They can move into my neighborhood if they want.

  4. - Former Hoosier - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 11:27 am:

    Yep, we can count on our Gov. to join the “knee jerk” GOP in demanding that no Syrian’s be re-settled here. Let’s not allow the facts to be determined first, let’s just go for the angry, chest pounding response that many want.

  5. - Free Country - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 11:28 am:

    To some extent, it’s like gun control. Doesn’t much matter what one state does. So long as there are places like Arizona and Alabama and Indiana, cities like New York and Chicago will always have guns, no matter what local laws are passed.

    I don’t mean to equate people with inanimate objects. But, unless we install border checks and fences around individual states, it really doesn’t much matter what Rauner or any other governor says or does. Just a way to score political points in a season that’s shaping up to be more silly than usual.

  6. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 11:28 am:

    Wow - so the first two comments after Rich’s warning are pretty much the same thing we had yesterday.

  7. - nona - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 11:28 am:

    If this report is confirmed that there were in fact no Syrian refugees among the terrorists, will GOP presidential candiates and governors remove their opposition to admitting refugees? Or doesn’t it matter?

  8. - Cubs in '16 - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 11:29 am:

    None of this changes the fact that ISIS has said they are in Syria and are coming over with refugees. It could just be rhetoric meant to scare us but I’m not sure it’s worth the risk. I see nothing wrong with Rauner wanting refugees from any country properly vetted before accepting them into our state. I realize it’s currently illegal to refuse refugees but, under threats from terrorists, can the rules change?

  9. - Casual observer - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 11:30 am:

    I think we could temporarily house refugees at Gitmo until they are properly vetted. But 1st we would need to relocate the remaining prisoners. If only we had a prison we could move them to.
    I think governors refusing access to refugees are on the wrong side of history.

  10. - Sad Commentary - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 11:30 am:

    If we cease to be the nation that welcomes the world’s “huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” then we truly have forgotten who and what we are.

  11. - lincoln's beard - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 11:34 am:

    Should be noted that state efforts to obstruct federal foreign policy by picking-and-choosing which refugees get benefits would also run afoul of the constitution.

  12. - MOON - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 11:34 am:


    If this is a civil war between various Muslim factors then what was the incident in Paris about?

  13. - Cubs in '16 - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 11:35 am:

    Good grief! It’s a TEMPORARY halt to ensure the refugees are properly vetted to keep IL citizens safe; not an across-the-board refusal to accept any/all refugees who truly meet the definition. Have you people lost your minds?

  14. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 11:36 am:

    I just hate how partisan this issue became instantly.

  15. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 11:36 am:

    Since the governor chose to raise the issue, is he going to inform us as to what steps his administration is taking in regards to his concerns on the federal refugee process?

    I’d imagine his Homeland Security Advisor, the IEMA chief, is running that show.

    Will the director be made available to explain what steps he is taking?

    Or was this just a jump on the fear-monger bandwagon, leveraging the mass murder in Paris to score political points with xenophobes by threatening to make life even tougher for Syrian refugees?

  16. - train111 - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 11:37 am:

    Why can’t we all just take a breath and pause for a minute so that we can collectively make decisions that are thought out?

    Seems that alot of people who push personal responsibility, now want a nanny state that takes them by the hand and absolutely guarantees them security-something that is impossible to do.

  17. - Wensicia - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 11:39 am:

    Someone on TV this morning claims there is no way to properly vet people without any records that can be accessed by this country. This reasoning would block all refugees, even children, from any war torn or terrorist occupied country according to him. After the way they rejected the children coming from Central America, we shouldn’t be surprised they’re doubling down on these refugees. Sad, very sad.

  18. - Keyser Soze - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 11:39 am:

    Are there any radical Islamists among the millions of refugees? Who knows? And, how would anyone know?

  19. - foolsgold - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 11:41 am:

    Learn your history – during times of war the United Sate of America will take action to protect the citizenry; FDR the stalwart of the Liberal left had over 120,000 Americans of Japanese heritage moved to one of 10 internment camps—officially called “relocation centers”. The moves of these governors pale in comparison. And yet the threat is perhaps greater.

  20. - Keyrock - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 11:43 am:

    While it can be difficult to agree with Rep. Gutierrez, he is 100% correct on this issue.

  21. - Cathartt Representative - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 11:45 am:

    Understand that ISIS doesn’t want these refugees leaving their area. Anything ISIS can do to increase hostility to the refugees fits in with their overall strategy. Saying my that they would send terrorists fits this perfectly.

  22. - crazybleedingheart - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 11:46 am:

    Again: What about the CA$H the state of IL accepts from the feds in return for having agreed to provide cash and medical assistance to refugees? How does “refusal” affect that? Have the Superstars checked yet? Does IL plan to return money to the feds? Out of what pocket?

    And how does the *state* “refusal” affect the ca$h and programs targeted to specific *county* governments (Cook, DuPage, Winnebago)?

    And, I will cosign the call to know exactly which member of the Rauner Administration is well-qualified to determine exactly when the federal professional refugee immigration and assistance procedures will be assured to be state-government-adequate.


  23. - walker - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 11:46 am:

    TS: Can you explain what Rauner’s statement means in practical terms?

    If it was a call for the Feds to do something different, he should have made that clear. If it was to make sure state funds don’t go to support refugee families assigned to come here, then I doubt any state funds are flowing any time soon, regardless. If it’s just empty words with no practical value, then it is purely political positioning, and should be criticized as such.

    Always with respect, my friend.

  24. - Keyrock - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 11:46 am:

    Well, foolsgold, picking one of the most shameful episodes in American history as a positive example may not be your strongest argument.

  25. - crazybleedingheart - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 11:48 am:

    DHS, how ya doin’?

  26. - Mekong Cafe - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 11:52 am:

    Why would a radical Islamist want to flee Syria and come to the USA? (Rhetorical question, they wouldn’t)

    The issue is, does allowing Syrian refugees provide an opportunity for radical Islamists to enter the USA? I can see why some think the answer to this question is yes. Most people don’t understand how complicated the vetting process for refugees is. If the issue of radical Islamists infiltrating the U.S. Is very important to you then you should also care about protecting our physical borders and federal funding for security checks at US ports of entry. ISIS fighters have numerous points of entry into the USA without the refugee process.

    It would be nice if the D’s and R’s could come together on this issue. My opinion is that the R Governors are using this as an opportunity to embarrass the President.

  27. - South Central - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 11:53 am:

    Since I heard the report this morning that all but one of the states claiming to bar Syrian refugees have Republican governors, one thing is clear. Rauner just jumped on the latest anti-Obama bandwagon of political posturing. It’s embarrassing to have the world see this.

  28. - cdog - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 11:56 am:

    I have a question re the post. I understand the Feds are the gatekeepers, the States can be unfriendly, the international systems are overwhelmed. What do you mean by “Missing the Point?” (I am obviously missing the point. :)

    I am confident that Rauner is working proactively to ensure all systems of safety are functioning well, in spite of the budget fiasco.

  29. - Annon3 - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 11:57 am:

    Is this part of his audition for the Veep job? Otherwise just plain old sad day for Illinois. But it distracts from the budget.

  30. - Go Huskies - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 11:57 am:

    Is there room for middle ground on this issue at all? Double or triple or quadruple the number of refugee families we accept, while declining to accept single males?

  31. - crazybleedingheart - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 11:58 am:

    ==TEMPORARY halt to ensure the refugees are properly vetted to keep IL citizens safe==

    It takes 18 months for the average refugee to be processed through the federal system, but Syrians take longer because of the extent of the screening.

    If that’s not good enough, nothing will be good enough.

    If stopping an existing process a) prior to review and b) based on not even ONE specific, informed concern is now SOP for governance, we might as well not have any government.

    Maybe that’s the point.

    Shakin’ up DC.

  32. - Jocko - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 12:00 pm:

    Are any of these governors Native American? I’m surprised they don’t start a movement asking for a 100′ Chuck Norris instead of Lady Liberty.

  33. - Cassandra - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 12:00 pm:

    It’s interesting how many Republican governors there are. We’re not a country of liberal Democrats just yet. And how.

  34. - PublicServant - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 12:01 pm:

    I gotta say that at least Rauner is consistent. He’s been making it more difficult for the citizens of Illinois since being elected, and now he’s making it more difficult for immigrants too. Thanks Bruce!

  35. - cdog - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 12:01 pm:

    It seems it would be much more efficient and safe for everyone involved, especially those intending to walk 1000 miles in the winter, to establish well run international refugee camps in the rich countries of the region, i.e. Saudi Arabia, UAE, etc.

  36. - Annon3 - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 12:02 pm:

    My first reaction yesterday when I heard the news was to think how no one in this Administration remembers how the Blagojevich administration knee jerked and sought the spot light when they could have just kept their mouths shut.

  37. - downstater - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 12:02 pm:

    I don’t see how it’s unreasonable to wait until the unidentified attacker is properly identified, make sure he wasn’t a refugee, and then properly screen everyone coming here. I don’t see why what Rauner is doing is so awful. He hasn’t thrown around the same rhetoric as some of the other governors and made it clear that it’s a temporary thing.

  38. - Doug Stamper - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 12:05 pm:

    There is pretty good evidence to suggest that at least one of the attackers came with the flow of refugees through Greece. This was reported by The New York Times, hardly a bastion of conservative or “anti-immigrant” thought.

    But even if it were true on its face that all of the attackers were European nationals, I’m not sure what difference that makes in the big picture. The fact is that they were terrorists, probably trained by ISIS in Syria. They used this refugee crisis and Europe’s lax immigration policies as a pipeline. At the very least they were sympathetic to the Islamic State and were willing to fight for them.

    President Hollande was pretty clear on this point: France and Belgium and other European nations have been complicit in allowing this type of sentiment to simultaneously thrive and hide. It is every bit sensible to make sure that our policies here at home don’t have the same incubating effect.

    For what it’s worth, I think a sensible compromise would be to limit refugee resettlement to entire families, or women and children. Single men traveling without families should be rejected: both for the reason that they could be terrorists and, as others have pointed out the vetting process is simply impossible; and for the reason that if they are not, then they should be fighting for their country.

    A question nobody seems to be asking is “what can the United States do to make Syria a country that people don’t want to flee?” It is nice to help those who manage to escape, but it does nothing to improve the situation for the 9 out of 10 who don’t. That should be the focus.

  39. - RNUG - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 12:05 pm:

    == Learn your history – during times of war the United Sate of America will take action to protect the citizenry … ==

    Attention wasn’t directed at just the Japanese in America, although they got the most severe treatment. There were lots of “undocumented” people in the US at the start of WW II.

    People of German and Italian descent had to prove they were US citizens … and that wasn’t easy because mandatory / universal birth certificates did not exist for military age citizens in a lot of cases. In order to enlist in the US military, you had to apply for a “deferred” birth certificate … which entailed having at least two or three US citizens swear they knew you were born in the US. Anyone who has spent any time doing genealogical research is familiar with the large number of “deferred” birth records filed in the early 1940’s.

    The question today is how do you balance the lack of documentation, citizen safety, and humanitarian compassion for the refugees?

    I don’t have an answer to that …

  40. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 12:06 pm:

    I don’t disagree with the Governor’s thoughts. I just think it’s more grandstanding by these Governor’s than anything given that they ultimately don’t have any authority to prevent refugees from entering their states.

    I’m also a bit taken aback by those that seem to think we’re just letting these people into the country with no screening. That’s simply not true. The screening process is fairly rigorous. Of course you can never be 100% certain in any process and I think it’s reasonable to take a step back but it’s ridiculous to imply that no screening is happening.

  41. - Abe the Babe - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 12:13 pm:

    == TEMPORARY halt to ensure the refugees are properly vetted==

    that’s the whole problem. Nothing the state is doing has anything to do with “ensuring they are properly vetted”. States cannot vet these immigrants. They also cant change how the feds vet them. So what assurance is Rauner providing? This is the feds role and you can disagree with how they are vetting them. But what you shouldn’t do is penalize all Syrian refugees who need to relocate to your state because you don’t agree with the vetting process.

    Its like refusing to help with the construction of a federal prison because you disagree with federal crime policy.

  42. - crazybleedingheart - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 12:14 pm:

    “properly screen everyone coming here”

    Are you yourself a recent immigrant, downstater? Because here in the USA we’ve been at informal but very real war for fifteen years now. Ten years of which our color-coded terror warning never moved to either of the 2 colors below yellow.

  43. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 12:17 pm:

    Downstater, what makes you think refugees aren’t now being “properly screened?”

    Five minutes on the google reveals the entire lengthy process.

    What concerns does the governor have beyond the easily accessible public information? He should tell us.

    It would be helpful if IEMA Director Joseph, the governor’s homeland security advisor, would explain the questions and concerns he needs addressed before recommending a course of action on this temporary suspension.

  44. - nixit71 - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 12:19 pm:

    35th Ward Alderman Ramirez-Rosa would like to welcome all Syrian refugees into his ward and offer them free choice of gang association within his ward: Maniac Latin Disciples, Imperial Gangsters, or Insane Spanish Cobras.

  45. - Questions have answers - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 12:22 pm:

    Refugees from Syria already go through an intensive process of screening by both the UN and the Department of Homeland Security. Here are details:


    All of the more-than-20,000 applications by Syrians for refuge in the United States received since 2011 have come from UNHCR, according to the State Department. UNHCR conducts rounds of interviews, first establishing identity and taking biometric data and later digging deeper into previous lives. UN workers determine whether a refugee falls into any of about 45 “categories of concern,” from serving in particular government ministries or military units to being in specific locations at specific times, even missing family members.

    . . .

    After the UN referral comes the U.S.’s own ​​security screening process, ​​in which DHS and the State Department conduct their own, in-person interviews and use law enforcement and terrorism databases shared by the two departments, the National Counterterrorism Center, the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center, and the Department of Defense. DHS’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service told Defense One Wednesday that as of about a year ago, they began building up an added layer of enhanced review specific to Syrians, “to ensure potential gaps are covered.”

  46. - @MisterJayEm - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 12:24 pm:

    • Has Governor Rauner identified which persons his administration are qualified to conduct “a full review of our country’s acceptance and security processes by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security”?
    • If not, does he have someone in mind?
    • What is the estimated cost of the review?
    • Is the review under way?
    • If not, when will the review take place?
    • When are the results of the review expected?
    • Will the results of the review be shared with legislative leaders?
    • Will the results of the review be shared with the White House?
    • Will the results of that review be made public?

    Because this was a legitimate policy decision, I’m sure that those legitimate questions have already been considered and that answers will be forthcoming shortly.

    – MrJM

  47. - Robert the Bruce - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 12:27 pm:

    @Questions have answers, I hope you show up more here. Good link and good info. Ty.

    Seems to me that we have a reasonable policy in place already.

  48. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 12:30 pm:

    Given that in 2001 we lost not hundreds, but many thousands of innocent American lives, I can’t understand why we would not be wary. Ensuring the safety of Americans in their own country is something every American should expect from our government. What computer database is there on these refugees to check them out? I don’t get how being cautious and careful is a ridiculous thing?

  49. - Pacman - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 12:32 pm:

    As noted above Rep. Peter King (R-NY) said on “Morning Joe” that there is no way to properly vett the refugees because there is not a data base the U.S. can access to verify what the refugee tells a screener.

  50. - RNUG - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 12:35 pm:

    Does Gov Rauner even fully know what is going on? Does he have the proper security clearances to know what Homeland Security is doing? If not, how can he make informed decisions?

    The above is not snark; it is a serious question. The reason I ask this is because I personally know of situations where employees assigned to temporary duties can’t tell their normal bosses what they doing due to lack of security clearances by the bosses.

  51. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 12:35 pm:

    Ignore this at your own political risk. Every culture in every nation has these concerns and history shows that when a country’s leadership appears too weak - it comes up.

    We have a lame duck president who has deliberately downplayed this threat. The bigger it gets, the more inconsequential he becomes. Smart politics demands that everyone with an eye on 2016 ignore Obama.

    If I was advising Hillary, I would tell her to be sympathetic. If the Democrats try to tell voters that they are being overly emotional, they will get what Rauner got when he started banging on unions in Illinois. Backlash, baby.

  52. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 12:36 pm:

    ===Rep. Peter King (R-NY) said===

    Well, there you have it. You win the debate.


  53. - crazybleedingheart - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 12:37 pm:

    ==I don’t get how being cautious and careful is a ridiculous thing?==

    Because the implication is that we are not and have not been cautious and careful.

    Nothing could be further from the truth.

    750,000 people since 9/11

    0 domestic terror arrest
    2 guys arrested in KY for a plot against Iraqis (that’s 0.00027%)

    Pretty. Careful.

  54. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 12:37 pm:

    ====But even if it were true on its face that all of the attackers were European nationals, I’m not sure what difference that makes in the big picture. The fact is that they were terrorists, probably trained by ISIS in Syria. They used this refugee crisis and Europe’s lax immigration policies as a pipeline. At the very least they were sympathetic to the Islamic State and were willing to fight for them.

    The difference it makes is that we ought to look for policies that actually make us safer. It’s not easy like banning Syrians from entering the country, but actual police work and intelligence to find those who are a danger already in the country. Even if one was a Syrian immigrant, 5 were not and it’s clear that they were tied to at least one figure behind the last few attacks in France.

    We have a model for doing this–it’s what we do with right wing terrorists in the United States. We monitor, collect intelligence, and infiltrate when there is a need. That actually targets risks and allows law enforcement to actually narrow its focus to threats and not an impossibly large group of people.

  55. - Chunga's Revenge - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 12:38 pm:

    Do you think Rauner or any other govenor actually think they can do anything to stop the refugees from settling in their states or are they just publicly making these announcements to inoculate them from any blow back in case there is any type of terrorist attack in their state

  56. - Mason born - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 12:38 pm:

    Wow it seems like everyone has retreated to their perspective corners fast on this one. Everyone is back in their trenches lobbing rhetorical ordanance at each other.

    Both sides seem to have their own colored glasses on which prevents them from seeing the valid points the other side makes. The sides as I see it are this.

    D’s These are poor defenseless people suffering at the hands of terrorists. It is our moral duty to take them in. They don’t want to hurt us they just want sanctuary.

    R’s We don’t know if isis is using the refugees to smuggle operatives into the country. Therefore we should stop till we do know.

    As usual the truth is in the middle 99.9% of syrian refugees just want their loved ones to be safe. However it is incredibly likely (almost guaranteed) that isis is attempting to use the tefugees as a cover to move operatives.

    To me Governors asking for a review of the process is cmpletely reasonable and should be dealt with by the administration respectfully. Instead everyone runs to a mike to scream at the other side. To me the governor’s were wrong to make political hay out of a tragedy just as the President was wrong to accuse anyone with security concerns as a xenophobe.

    Finally we have some big advantages over France in this.
    A. It’s much harder to obtain the ordinance used in Paris here. While the french highly restrict private firearm ownership there is a well developed black market moving weapons and explosives out of the former Soviet bloc and other confluct zones.
    B. The European union pretty much eliminated any boundries to countries so of the greeks are watching person A and he gets on a train he can get off at paris wothout anyone being the wiser. As the greeks would need to contact the italians to watch him in italy and then if the italians watched him they’d then need to get the French to finish.
    C. Finally we don’t have a land route or short sea route from from Isis to here.

  57. - Mason born - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 12:40 pm:


    Thanks for posting this. I’m sure it’s quite the headache to moderate.

  58. - crazybleedingheart - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 12:40 pm:

    Neither, Chunga. They’re trying to get political mileage out of cloaking themselves in people’s fear and impugning Obama.

    It might play in Alabama but it’s confusing and embarrassing for Illinois.

  59. - @MisterJayEm - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 12:42 pm:

    “the President was wrong to accuse anyone with security concerns as a xenophobe”

    Citation needed.

    – MrJM

  60. - crazybleedingheart - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 12:43 pm:

    On the other hand, of the 2,233 people on the FBI’s terrorist watchlist who tried to buy a gun between 2004 and 2014, 91% were successful.

    Maybe Rauner should declare a temporary ban on all firearm sales until that process can be reviewed.

  61. - crazybleedingheart - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 12:46 pm:

    I, for one, favor pausing the 91% risk rather than the 0.00027% risk.

  62. - not so simple - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 12:46 pm:

    RNUG: My guess would be that our Governor will issue his next proclamation on this topic when Senator Kirk tells him. I would venture this is all from Kirk’s office and the Gov is doing as instructed.

  63. - nona - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 12:46 pm:

    == Learn your history. FDR rounded up the Japanese-Americans==

    Yes, and it is considered a black mark in our history, for which the government has apologized and paid reparations. Let’s not repeat the mistake by enacting another policy based on fear and bigotry.

  64. - Robert the Bruce - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 12:49 pm:

    Wouldn’t it be easier for a prospective terrorist to simply fly to Mexico and then sneak across the border rather than pretending to be a refugee and go through the extensive refugee application process?

  65. - Touré's Latte - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 12:51 pm:

    Is Rauner going to build a fence? Great public works project. Workers do not require experience or education. Would pay a decent wage. Get a bunch of people back to work.

    Looks like a winner.


  66. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 12:55 pm:

    —Wouldn’t it be easier for a prospective terrorist to simply fly to Mexico and then sneak across the border rather than pretending to be a refugee and go through the extensive refugee application process?

    probly. Also, too, the US Citizens who have flown to Syria might be a bit more of a concern.

  67. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 12:56 pm:

    And btw, I’m not overly concerned with the pause by Rauner. My guess is he’ll pause, talk to the feds, and probably be satisfied. I don’t think it was necessary, but his language wasn’t over the top and he’s stressed it’s temporary.

  68. - Young State Worker - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 1:01 pm:

    Hideous comment by nixit71 at 12:19. What link do the Syrian refugees who make it through the extensive federal screening process have to Chicago gangs? What’s funny about joking that a freshman alderman welcomes families fleeing oppression into gangs, just because the alderman expressed the profoundly American sentiment that immigrants strengthen our community?

  69. - Ducky LaMoore - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 1:02 pm:

    Yep. The refugees are coming. What would be best for our state? To welcome them and try to assimilate them into American society? Or to demonize them and withhold any actual help? Which do you think would have a more positive outcome to the citizenry???

  70. - nona - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 1:03 pm:

    == However it is incredibly likely (almost guaranteed) that isis is attempting to use the tefugees as a cover to move operatives.==

    The refugee process can take years. Is it really “guaranteed” thar ISIS wants to tie up good operatives in the refugee camps instead of fighting in Syria or doing damage more quickly via, say, a tourist visa?

  71. - Anon - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 1:08 pm:

    ===States could instruct their employees not to cooperate with the resettlement program, or they could freeze state-level refugee benefits or federal refugee benefits distributed by the states.===

    This is a good way to wind up being unqualified to receive federal funds for related projects.

  72. - Jack Stephens - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 1:11 pm:

    Your right. This policy has nothing to do with religion. It’s strictly based on geography. That’s why Bruce is so interested in it. No fear mongering at all!

  73. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 1:13 pm:

    By the time more refugees are ready to get through this process, the right-wing frothers will be onto some other outrage. The process can take three years in order to have someone come to the United States? There are 52 weeks in a year, multiply that by 3 years and you have 156 weeks, meaning there are 156 other right-wing outrages to take the place of this.

  74. - Pacman - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 1:16 pm:

    Well Rich if you don’t believe Rep. King how about the FBI Director Comey;
    COMEY: I don’t think I have anything to add to Jeh. I think he describes it well. We see a risk there. We will work hard to mitigate it. Our challenge will be, as good as we have gotten ourselves at querying our holdings to understand somebody, if the person has never crossed our radar screen, there won’t be anything to query against, so we do see a risk there.

  75. - Mason born - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 1:21 pm:


    Considering the fact that isis has a plethora of willing volunteers I suspect they are trying every method to insert a basically trained operative. I also think we in the west mistakenly assume a short time frame. If they expect this to be a generational struggle what is 24 months. Especially when the refugee route provides living expenses and placement.

  76. - Mama - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 1:24 pm:

    It was on the news that the terrorist is France were EU citizens, not a Syrian citizen or refugee. All of the R-governors hype of not taking Surian refugee is a political one. I’ll try to post the news link later.

  77. - 'Kiddin Me? - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 1:29 pm:

    It doesn’t make sense for an ISIS terrorist to use a refugee resettlement application process to carry out an attack. It would take 18-36 months even if the individual succeeded and put the individual under intense scrutiny during and after the process with the very govt. entities they would like to avoid - the Feds. It would seem that there would be a lot more effective and efficient ways like getting a hold of an EU passport and just travelling to the U.S. It is not like guns are hard to come by here.

  78. - @MisterJayEm - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 1:44 pm:

    “So, because the terrorists in France were all EU citizens, terrorists can only be EU citizens? Do you realize how dumb that sounds?”

    Anonymous commenter makes transparent strawman argument and then calls another commenter dumb.

    My God, I’m sick of the Anonymous commenters.

    – MrJM

  79. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 1:45 pm:

    Given the governor’s public safety concerns here, I expect an announcement shortly on what he plans to do to execute state law and confiscate the guns of those whose FOID cards have been revoked after they were found to be mentally ill.

    The story here yesterday was that there have been 50,000 such revocations under Illinois law, yet ISP does not have a clue as to whether these mentally ill folks still have their guns, illegally.

    50K mentally ill people possibly possessing guns, illegally, right now. A few hunded Syrian refugees, possibly, years from now.

    Which is the more pressing issue, when it comes to public safety?

    Guns illegally in the hands of the mentally ill would seem to be a public safety concern that a governor of Illinois could really do something about. right now.

    The game plan should be announced shortly, I’m sure.

  80. - Cook County Commoner - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 2:02 pm:

    Wordslinger beat me to it. I’m more worried about folks with poorly vetted FOID and CCW holders than a few Syrians, whose credentials got vetted by a dozen or so agencies over a period of years.

    And it has come to my attention that my area lacks a Syrian restaurant. I believe in a cuisine based immigration policy, so any top shelf Syrian cooks seeking asylum should undergo an accelerated admission process.

  81. - Former Hoosier - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 2:12 pm:

    This reminds me of the whole ebola debacle when Gov’s. (including Quinn as I recall) decided not to listen to the experts at the CDC and instead decided that they knew better (without having any medical background). They needlessly quarantined anyone who had any level of exposure to ebola (instead of just those who displayed symptoms). That was a knee jerk reaction that played well with certain groups in our country. As to the Syrian refugees, exactly how many were set to come to Illinois any time soon? Perhaps none? I stand with Sen. Durbin and others who want to protect our citizens and recognize that we already have extraordinary measures in place to screen people. Anyone who is looking for a 100% assurance is not going to find it.

  82. - crazybleedingheart - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 2:20 pm:

    Thanks for the reminder about the Ebola scare, Former Hoosier. When I was surprised by his ninnyism yesterday, I had completely forgotten how “Republican challenger Bruce Rauner [tried] to make the final week of the campaign about the Ebola virus” by implying Quinn wasn’t doing enough.

    “Rauner said his support for an Ebola travel ban was based in part on conversations with Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk’s staff.”

  83. - nixit71 - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 2:22 pm:

    @Young State Worker - No more hideous than an alderman with extensive gang presence in his ward welcoming ANY families, let alone Syrian. And welcoming them into a city with poor schools and drowning in debt, no less. But you can fall for empty platitudes all you want.

  84. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 2:25 pm:

    Nixit, you need to take a nap or something, dude.

  85. - Young State Worker - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 2:44 pm:

    nixit71 my family lives in the ward and it has been amazing for us - we have not experienced or witnessed any violence in our 2 years here so far. Not that gang violence doesn’t exist, but it certainly isn’t anywhere near as pervasive as you apparently believe it to be. People know the ward know that it is one of the most exciting areas of the city in terms of food, arts, and culture. Why would a restaurant with a Michelin star open in our neighborhood if it’s such a horrible place? Where else can you find Polish, Latin American, and Korean groceries within blocks? We have arts centers, one of the bigger farmers markets in the city, the Revolution Brewery, and lots of independently-owned local businesses. Yet you shamefully denigrate the whole area with your misinformation.

  86. - Blue dog dem - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 3:21 pm:

    Two points.1) this whole Syrian refugee issue is a RAUN Man talking point to shore up his support amongst his few remaining supporters. This guy has even his most ardent followers doubting his strategy. 2) since somebody else brought it up, let’s get rid of the FOID card. It’s a worthless idea .

  87. - CapnCrunch - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 3:37 pm:

    Difficult to get excited about elected politicians choosing to practice politics at a moment when they know they have everybody’s attention. I suspect that the folks who are actually responsible for our security couldn’t care less what these Governors think.

  88. - Cassandra - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 4:34 pm:

    Our pols across the country are not talking about the the much bigger issue here, which is that the Syrian middle class is migrating to Europe. Nobody can stop them. The EU isn’t going to start gunning down asylum-seekers at the border. And residents from other failing states aren’t far behind. Mass migration resulting from political instability and climate change is going to be one of the big issues of the 21st. The US seems a bit unprepared at this point. But fast-tracking the peace process in Syria would help in this instance. Because a lot of these folks would probably like to go home.

  89. - Ultragreen - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 5:52 pm:

    from the article: “States do have a role in the refugee resettlement process post admission, and it would certainly be possible for them to obstruct the resettlement process…”

    While the states could refuse to cooperate in the refugee assistance process, the constitutionality of failing to provide assistance to refugees on the basis of religion, ethnicity, or place of origin could be challenged on constitutional grounds in the Federal courts, especially if they accept any Federal money in the refugee resettlement process. Equal protection under the law, freedom from discrimination on the basis of religion, and other constitutional protections could prohibit the states from taking any actions against the Syrian refugee resettlement process.

  90. - NoGifts - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 6:46 pm:

    I don’t object to refugees. Anyone can be a terrorist - and many more from other places than Syria. And if someone isn’t a terrorist today, they can be one tomorrow. And vice verse. I don’t see how you can actually do a background check when you have to obtain information from a country that has been in a civil for the last 4 years. Call their previous employer? Check their criminal records? Get a copy of their birth certificate? I don’t see how they can really find out anything.

  91. - internal angel - Tuesday, Nov 17, 15 @ 7:17 pm:

    I believe people migrate when they see no hope in remaining where they are. When a person makes that assessment, all they want to do is leave, they don’t wish to return. Syria was a modern country with educated people, they aren’t incompetent. The ideology of radical Islam is oppressive and from the previous centuries, imagine trying to impose those values on a free modern city here. No wonder they are leaving. Until they have a modern government there they wont return there. So the solution is toto restore order and modern government.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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