Letter: Keeping Minnesota safe
As elected officials, our first priority should be the safety of our citizens. Minnesotans should not have to live in fear of terrorist attacks outside our front doors. Like many of you, I share the same concerns that the resettlement of thousands of Syrian refugees should not be made at this time until the security of our own citizens is assured.
Minnesota is a welcoming state and has provided a safe haven for many refugees over the past 50 years, including Hmong and Somali populations in the Metro. Last year, the state admitted over 2,000 refugees from 24 countries.
The growing crisis in the Middle East requires the resettlement of millions of refugees. Unfortunately, large movements of poorly documented people can provide the perfect cover for extremists to infiltrate. This avenue for terrorism has already proven deadly: there is evidence that one of the perpetrators in the recent, deadly terrorist attacks in Paris had travelled through Europe with migrating refugees.
Governor Dayton should join with the governors of 31 other states in blocking Syrian refugees in Minnesota until there is ironclad assurance that we would not be allowing any terrorist into our state. Gov. Dayton should also reach out to President Obama and encourage the development of safe zones, which could be operated by NATO, like they have done in the past during refugee crises.
Safe zones, established somewhere in the Middle East and operated by NATO, or ally countries, would make good sense right now and provide relief to the displaced refugees while not sacrificing the safety of our state and nation for all our citizens.
Eighteen Senate Republicans have drafted a letter urging Governor Dayton to not allow Syrian refugees into Minnesota at this current time. Given a possibility of a special session in the coming weeks, we have also drafted a resolution to memorialize this, which will be introduced if we are called to reconvene at the Capitol.
Please let your voice be heard. Minnesotans deserve the right to our security. Until we can ensure that we would not be welcoming embedded terrorists, we should not allow Syrian refugees to come into our state or country.