Target: Maryland Governor Larry Hogan
Goal: Rescind request to halt Syrian refugee resettlement.
Governor Larry Hogan announced his intentions to prevent Syrian refugees from seeking shelter in the state of Maryland. Several other state governors have since joined Hogan in his calls to seal borders, despite the fact that the power to make such a decision does not lie in their hands.
As an elected official in a nation that prides itself on having a diverse and welcoming culture, Governor Hogan must recognize his responsibility and rescind his request to bar refugees from entering his state. Governor Hogan’s plan is uninformed and based in myth rather than fact, and his actions seek to deny a safe haven for refugees who have been torn from their homes.
Governor Hogan cites the increased risk of terrorism as the reason for his proposition, but a quick check of recent statistics prove that his concerns are misguided and incorrect. In the 14 years since the terrorists attack on September 11, 2001, almost 750,000 refugees have entered the United States and only a dozen—a marginal fraction of one percent—have been arrested or removed from the U.S. due to terrorism concerns.
In fact, most refugees are attempting to flee the very violence that Hogan fears they will commit. The Syrian civil war has ravaged the Middle East region and left millions homeless, and the primary goal of most refugees is to simply find a new home in a secure area. There is no evidence of Syrian refugees planning acts of terrorism in either America or any of the European countries that have so graciously accepted them within their borders.
The Islamic State, the primary aggressors in the conflict that has destabilized Syria and created unrest, feeds off of hatred and fear; it is their wish that America and the rest of the West become divided over the refugee crisis. Despite President Obama’s plan to accept 10,000 refugees, the list of governors seeking to ban Syrian refugees continues to grow and the total now sits at 28. The increasing divide threatens the stability of our nation and only serves to further legitimize the Islamic State’s influence.
In the wake of a devastating terrorist attack on Paris that left over 150 dead, French President Francois Hollande announced his intentions to accept an additional 30,000 refugees. Hollande’s message is clear–acceptance and understanding, not violence and retaliation, are the key to ending this conflict, and American officials such as Governor Hogan must take note of this lesson. Demand that Hogan renounce his dedication to illegally barring refugees from his state.
Dear Governor Hogan,
Your request to deny Syrian refugees entry into Maryland is both uninformed and prejudicial. The need for security is an understandable one, but studies have repeatedly shown that the people you are turning away pose little or no security risk to your state or our country, and for this reason I ask that you rescind your demand to stop the flow of immigrants into your state.
These refugees have been forced from their homes and their sole purpose is to find a safe haven, and the refusal to admit them is a violation of their rights as human beings. It is the wish of the Islamic State that America and its allies become divided over this issue, as internal tension weakens our efforts to combat them.
As evidenced by President Hollande’s decision to accept 30,000 refugees in the wake of a vicious attack in Paris, the primary threat is not refugees, but the terrorists who have initiated the conflict in Syria and driven them from their homes. America was built by immigrants, and to turn away those who have come here seeking a better life and opportunity runs counter to the very ideals upon which our nation was founded.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Mstyslav Chernov