Widows and orphans

Published 6:34 am Monday, December 7, 2015

Some in the news media have started using President Obama’s argument that America should welcome Syrian refugees because they are “widows and orphans.” Similarly, some are arguing that all those refugees are terrorists.  Each side is partly right and partly wrong.

Over half the governors across the country declared that they did not want them in their states.  Most others were silent. A few governors, like ours, fell into lock step with the president and announced they were welcome in Virginia.

President Obama, in turn, threatened the governors saying they have no authority to block them from coming into their states. Maybe the governors, are overstating the concern for safety; maybe many are widows and orphans, but it seems to me that now is the time to step back and address their concerns rather than simply rushing forward.

In a news story that received little attention but points to the error in all of this, a group of Syrian refugees showed up at our southern border asking for asylum. They were not widows and orphans. They couldn’t go to the bank of Syria and ask for their money.

As they fled their homes, they could only escape with limited assets, often just the clothes they wore. This begs the question, exactly who paid for their transportation?

The answer may well be that ISIS bankrolled their trip. If that group was stopped at the border, how many other individuals have crossed our border with absolutely no vetting.

Rather than going through what the President calls intense vetting, which may be little more than asking people a series of questions that amounts to nothing, a better solution is to use the resources to aid those living in refugee camps in Jordan. Assisting our ally, the Jordanians, who have struggled to feed and care for those living in these camps in abject poverty.

Once, all in Washington believed politics ended at the water’s edge. He, like Hillary Clinton, believes that the Republican Party is a greater enemy than those who want to destroy us.

Frank Ruff, a Republican, represents Lunenburg County in the Virginia State Senate. His email address is Sen.Ruff@verizon.net.