Immigration Letter – March 20

I’ve been writing my delegation, from a very Republican state, constantly since January. I’m posting these in the hope there may be some arguments others can use in their letters or articles.

March 20, 2017

I saw through the local paper that you recently attended a town hall meeting at the Dole Center. I am glad you were able to attend and I hope you continue to meet with your constituents from Lawrence. While I was unable to attend, I understand it mainly focused on healthcare. I have already sent you a couple of emails on this, so you likely do not need to hear more from me for now.

However, one of your remarks at the start of the town hall worried me a great deal. I believe the moderator mentioned that 100 people at KU were directly affected by the travel restrictions, and you were asked about your feelings on the second travel ban. I believe you called the second ban a “step in the right direction to keep us safe.”

I have been opposed to the Republican President’s travel ban from the beginning and it is this mistaken belief that it is supposed to keep the U.S. “safe” that I am especially unhappy about. Refugees are the ones who are most affected by this ban, and there is absolutely no evidence that refugees are a meaningful threat to our safety. Of the 784,000 refugees admitted since 9/11, exactly three have been arrested for terrorist activities in the U.S. Two of those were for sending support back to Iraq, not for an actual attack on the U.S., and the third did not prove to have a credible threat of attack.

This is an incredible rate and should demonstrate that the Refugee vetting program is working as well as humanly possible. There is absolutely no justification for including refugees in any ban, temporary or not, and at a time when we are facing the greatest refugee crisis since WWII, there is every reason to want to help these people. The Republican President has proposed turning our backs on all of them, and in his current budget proposal has asked to cut foreign aid as well. I do not support his decision or his proposed cuts. If implemented, I believe the decision will be seen as terrible as when we turned our backs on Jewish refugees fleeing Fascism, or as the internment of Japanese-Americans in WWII.

I hope you will take this under consideration and reevaluate your support of the President’s immigration ban.

Sincerely,

Raymond Hodgson

Muslim Ban v2.0 – Still a bigoted failure

Statue of Liberty - Dark

2017 Is not being subtle at all

The Republican President has just signed a second attempt at a Muslim ban (only don’t call it a Muslim ban!). This time, there was no press and only a single sad picture on Twitter as an acknowledgement. Iraq has been removed from the list, except for Iraqi refugees which are still banned along with refugees from every other country. The ban is already being challenged in court and the hearing is March 15.

The security claim is exactly the same before. This time they have an Attorney General to give the trumped up numbers. “There are 300 open cases at the FBI,” but they can’t say what kind of cases are involved, which countries they supposedly come from, or how many are actually going to trial. Considering the urgent need for the Administration to find any justification for this illegal order, I’m sure if they had a single terrorist you’d hear no end of it.

If you want some actual numbers, 300 cases represents less than 0.3% of all refugees admitted in the past year and less than 0.05% of all refugees in the past 10 years. And roughly 3.7% of all open FBI cases actually turn into a full investigation. As a group, refugees seem to be less prone to both crime and violent crime than the rest of the U.S. population. Since 9/11 only three refugees out of 784,000 have been arrested for terrorist activities in the U.S. Two of those were for sending support back to Iraq, not for an actual attack on the U.S., and the third did not prove to have a credible threat of attack. This is an incredible rate and should demonstrate that the Refugee vetting program is working as well as humanly possible.

These facts are well known to the courts, and the ACLU, which is why the Administration has lost every single court challenge to date, and will continue to do so. Without a credible threat, there is no legal justification for this ban.

However, this is not really about facts but about bigotry and the fear by many of the Republican President’s supporters of those that are different from them. The best way to combat this is not with facts and figures, but to appeal to their common humanity and to demonstrate the unjust and heartless actions being carried out in the name of all Americans. That’s going to be my goal with this topic from here on.