“Slamming the door in their faces would be a betrayal of our values.”
So said President Obama about the growing chorus of Americans and state governors who are rejecting his proposal of resettling thousands of Syrian refugees in the country. It was only one of the many asinine things the president said during his Monday morning speech at the G20 summit, but it was a statement that resonated with a broad spectrum of our country’s chattering class.
Among America’s movers and shakers, support for taking in refugees is near-universal, even though the rest of the country seems horrified by the idea. But the liberal elite has taken the ingenuous approach in appeals to good ol’ American values.
The New York Times editorial board issued a blistering denunciation of refugee critics on Tuesday. The Times said that it was “morally unacceptable” to call for a halt to allowing in Syrian migrants and an insult to the values the United States promotes around the world.
The notorious Muslim civil rights group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), condemned the statements of governors refusing Syrian refugees as “un-American.” (RELATED: Terrorism Co-Conspirators Say Refugee-Blocking Governors Are ‘Un-American’)
Fox News host Shepard Smith gave an impassioned, 90-second lecture on the migrant matter live on TV Monday. The Fox personality said that America would be more like the “barbarians” if the country refused entry to these migrants. “If we change it to accommodate the savages, have they won? And what then would be left to protect? We profess to stand as an example for all the world. Our unique experiment in freedom, tolerance, openness, and equality, is our gift to societies and peoples everywhere,” Smith pleaded.
Even the popular Twitter parody account @TheTweetOfGod got in on the message.
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. Unless they’re darker than, say, beige.”- Statue of Liberty.
— God (@TheTweetOfGod) November 17, 2015
At least the fake God shows more humor than The Washington Post, which in all seriousness asked, “Would Jesus take in Syrian Refugees?”
The bleeding heart consensus is that if America turned away these migrants, it would undermine the very values our country is founded upon.
But is America really just built upon the famous poem verse of Emma Lazarus asking for the world’s “huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore”?
The United States is a country that is built upon values handed down to us from the original settlers of the continent, the majority of whom hailed from the British Isles.
The late Harvard academic Samuel Huntington wrote in his phenomenal work “Who Are We?” that those early settlers gave this nation its “Anglo-Protestant” character, culture and values. These values included a hard work ethic, rugged individualism and democratic rights. While America has always had immigration, it’s not necessarily a “nation of immigrants,” according to Huntington. Rather, it’s a nation of settlers.
Immigrants who arrived after America’s founding had to assimilate to the Anglo-Protestant culture of the settlers — often meaning they had to learn to speak English, accept America’s political system and adopt a self-reliant work ethic.
Nowhere in this theory does it stress that America is founded upon being the destination for all the needy people in the world. Our country has of course welcomed in many people fleeing persecution throughout its history. But we always did it after considering the interests of our citizens first, and with the implied requirement that these immigrants would assimilate into our culture.
When it comes to refugee resettlement, these conditions are in no way satisfied. For one, an overwhelming majority of Americans oppose letting Syrian migrants into the country, as further evidenced by the 31 governors and counting who’ve rejected the president’s proposal. The security threat is the overwhelming reason for the opposition — and there’s good reason for the worry.
Besides the migrant involvement in the Paris attacks and the warnings of our own intelligence officials who say we can’t verify refugees who come to America, there are the examples of refugee communities in the U.S. The Little Mogadishu neighborhood in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is one of America’s main havens for Somali refugees. It has also become a breeding ground for radical Islam. (RELATED: America Already Has A Refugee Problem On Its Hands)
At least 40 former residents have joined ISIS and several others have been caught trying to join the terror group. (RELATED: JIHADI HIGH: This High School Has Now Produced Two Dead American Terrorists)
In addition to the Islamic extremism, Little Mogadishu also has a serious problem with crime and street gangs.
If one of America’s core values is personal responsibility and hard work, many refugees are sadly not living up to that virtue. A staggering 91 percent of migrants settled in the country are on government assistance, with 68 percent of them on welfare.
That’s a massive burden that’s put on the towns chosen for resettlement. Interestingly enough, the towns picked for these assignments have virtually no say in the process — the federal government just picks them without local approval. (RELATED: GOP Rep Wants To Block Obama’s Refugee Plan: ‘It’s An Open Invitation’ To America’s Enemies)
If one of the core values of America is democracy, then our current refugee system goes against that principle. Our country was not founded to give bureaucrats the final say on matters the people have to cope with.
Not surprisingly, the individuals who are most supportive of taking refugees are people who don’t have to deal with the consequences. They’re not settling the Syrians in Manhattan or Capitol Hill. They’re going to put them in towns and communities far away from the centers of power — places where elites won’t have to hear about the crime and the burden the new arrivals place on struggling areas.
The reason why “values” figure so prominently in the arguments of refugee supporters, is because they offer the hope of a new, multicultural America. An America that discards its historic Anglo-Protestant character in favor of a more universal one. An America that no longer requires English and where an undefined sense of equality is the highest virtue.
That’s why these elites are so willing to disregard the pleas of the citizenry in favor of the plight of the refugees.
But the most important thing to remember in this debate is what a national government’s first obligation is: to serve its citizens. The U.S. is no different. Our country’s primary obligation is not to serve as the world’s homeless shelter, nor is it to place the interests of non-citizens over those of taxpayers.
It’s to serve and protect the Americans who call this country home.
To do anything else would be truly un-American.