Target: Florida Senator Marco Rubio
Goal: Rescind nonsensical statements about restricting student visas for Muslim students based on recent attacks in Boston
Recently, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida warned his fellow congressional Republicans not to use the issue of the tragic Boston bombings as grounds for creating controversy over immigration reform. In light of these comments, it is ironic that Marco Rubio himself refused to answer specifically as to whether or not this violent act by two criminals should compel the United States to restrict access to visas for Muslim students.
The topic arose when Fox News host Neil Cavuto prompted Rubio’s opinion by asking, “Senator, there are some getting leery of all the Muslim students in America. Bob Beckel is among those saying stop granting visas, others speaking about slowing down the number getting into the country. What do you think?” Although Rubio replied that he did not like “profiling anybody,” he nevertheless gave an ambiguous answer (or, rather, a lack of an answer): “I’m not prepared to take a firm position on restriction. I want to learn about what might have worked to prevent past attacks.”
This is a nonsensical statement on Rubio’s behalf, considering that we now know that the two brothers who committed these crimes were United States citizens, not students on visas. Therefore, restricting student visas would not have “worked to prevent past attacks.” This is transparently obvious. Furthermore, even if the brothers had been students on visas, it is religious discrimination to suggest that visas should be restricted because of the criminal actions of two people. Nevertheless, for whatever reason, Rubio refused to take a firm stance against disallowing visas for Muslim students. Sign this petition to tell Marco Rubio that Muslim students should not be discriminated against.
Dear Senator Rubio,
On April 24th, in an exchange with Neil Cavuto, you stated that restricting visas for Muslim students might be a consideration and something you would not be averse to agreeing with. Being an intelligent man, you must be aware that there have been exclusionary policies in the past (such as the Chinese Exclusion Act) and history has never looked favorably on them. There is no reason to think history would look favorably on this idea.
First of all, while I am surprised I have to say this, discriminating against people because of their religious beliefs is wrong. You talk about “parts of the world where dangerous people are living,” but dangerous people live throughout the world; even if we were at war with these countries (which, by your definition, would presumably include being at war with the entire Arab and Muslim world), it is wrong to assume that citizens of any given country necessarily share in the beliefs of their leaders (as the United States certainly attests to). Muslims are a varied community of varied people and, yes, there will be some criminals, but there are also criminals who are Christians or white males. No one suggests restricting access of white Christian males in this country, and for good reason.
Furthermore, it is highly unlikely that most terrorism would be carried out by students of all people. The boys responsible for this bombing were American citizens. As such, it is an act of domestic terrorism. There is no sense in scapegoating Muslim students. Please reconsider and rescind your previous comments.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Yossi Seliger