I see where 25 of our Republican governors have expressed an interest in banning refugees from Syria who may be dangers to their states and nation. And they are right.

It is true that of the 785,00 refugees admitted to the country since 9/11, just three have been arrested on terrorism-related charges, according to the Migration Policy Institute.

But three is too many.

The other 784,000 and change may be sleepers, waiting for a signal to rise up and wreak havoc.

The toughest in the battalion of candidates running for President is our own governor of the great state of New Jersey. Chris Christie— whose state has more Hispanics in one county (Hudson) than some Caribbean nations, and a virtual UN of other immigrants — has stuck his neck out and warned about the dangers of letting in not only widows and those five-year old orphans, but also pre-schoolers, toddlers and babies. They may grow up some day and make us unsafe.

Some of our sitting governors are not only appealing to their constituents to get out those pitchforks and flaming torches but acting to make sure those fleeing war don’t feel comfortable darkening our door steps.

Gov. Bobby Jindal , himself the son of a refugee family from the Punjab, who only this past week was carried off the electoral battlefield on his shield, ordered Louisiana state police to monitor 14 Syrians in the Big Easy “to avert threats.” Republican Gov. Nathan Deal of Georgia told his state’s Emergency Management Agency” to confirm that 50 Syrian refugees recently arrived in the Peachtree State, “ does not pose a public safety issue.”

Although some of our Republican presidential candidates already have had 25 or 26 positions on immigration, all have joined the current closed-door movement.

Our leading expert on immigration, Donald Trump, warned that according to Obama 250,000 of the potential enemies are on their way, while declaring the President “insane.”

I will leave it to Doc Carson to judge who has more of a mental health problem –the man who confabulates the Obama 10,000 into a 250,000—and should be sent to an institution other than the White House.

All of this rattling of swords and mounting of the barricades is for the good. You cannot be too vigilant these days, we Republicans feel, about making us safe.

While it is true the screening process for potential refugees includes background checks by the national counter-terrorism center, the FBI, the Defense Department, plus health exams and personal interviews; and none of that happens until a UN agency official classifies an individual as a true refugee, meaning he or she faces persecution in their native lands because of race, religion, nationality or politics— but you can’t be too careful.

The vigorous vetting process is said to take up to two years!

Why so fast?

Now I realize there are those on the left who will be evoking the sainted Emma Lazarus and her poem about giving her your tired poor, your huddled masses, the wretched homeless yearning to be free. She was probably a Democratic Socialist like Bernie. And the times are different.

Today she might have written about giving us your rich and privileged, your well-heeled who can afford all the multi –million dollar Manhattan skyscraper condos, the wretched deposed dictators and other tyrants from Latin America needed to buy the Miami Beach mansions from our own newly poor because of Obama.

There is no reason to get all teary-eyed about refugee plight, we Republicans believe, when our safety is at stake.

I know our friends, those soft-on-refugees, bleeding heart progressives will accuse us of being hard-hearted.

What they seem to forget is the Republican Party is the party of the serially hard-hearted.

How else can you explain that ours is the party that doesn’t believe in mollycoddling workers by raising the minimum wage?

We are the party that doesn’t mind if people go hungry when we cut the food stamp budget.

We are the party that doesn’t give a fig if people go bankrupt paying over-inflated medical bills.

We are the party against affordable health insurance, not to mention we are not too keen on Social Security and Medicare.

We are the party that doesn’t worry about encroachments on our civil liberties by unwarranted tapping of phones and emails. What do we have to hide, anyway, if we’re not guilty?

After all, we are the Party that will keep us safe, as we did in the Iraq War for the last 14 years!

I better stop here before this sounds like campaign oratory.


Marvin Kitman
Nov. 23, 2015

Marvin Kitman was the media critic at Newsday. His column, “The Marvin Kitman Show,” began on Dec. 7, 1969, a day that still lives in infamy, according to network executives. On April 1, 2005, he stepped down from his position of power. As he explained, “Newsday gave me a tryout, and after 35 years we decided it wasn’t working out.” He is the author of nine books.