Wednesday, December 2, 2015

To My Congressman: Choose Compassion Over Fear

Congressman Dold,

I respectfully disagree with your position on the issue of Syrian refugees and HR 4038.

We already have screening processes for immigrants and refugees. By refusing to help the refugees from Syria to escape the terror that is taking place there you are giving the terrorists exactly what they want. Your vote on that reprehensible resolution helps to reinforce in the minds of both the American people and those abroad that we favor an "us vs them" position. The American people are "us" and the Syrians being tortured and killed and hoping to escape are "them." We are willing to allow "them" to die by the thousands if there is even the chance of a possible threat to some of "us." That is the definition of living in fear, Congressman. It is the ultimate capitulation to the goals of terrorists. We are allowing them to change our ideals because we fear what they will do if we act with compassion.

We must see those outside our borders as equally human. We must live in a world community if we want to win over those who use fear as a tool of division.

We must stand for compassion, rather than fear.


Tom Sias

1 comment:

  1. Note: This message was sent in response to the letter the following message from Congressman Dold:

    Dear Mr. Sias,

    Our number one focus in Congress right now must be on keeping the American people safe from terror.

    The United States has a long and proud history providing safe haven to political and religious refugees. The Syrian refugee crisis is a human tragedy, and the challenge we face is properly balancing our inherent compassion for those fleeing from Bashar Assad and ISIS, with the need to ensure the safety and security of the American people. First and foremost, our priority must be the American people.

    In the last couple months, senior U.S. government officials have expressed concerns that ISIS terrorists could exploit the Syrian refugee crisis by infiltrating operatives among the refugees in order to gain entrance into the West. The Paris attacks have magnified these concerns, particularly given reports that French and other European officials have said that at least one attacker used the flow of Syrian refugees to gain entry into the European Union.

    With the implementation of additional vetting requirements, I believe we can ultimately strike the proper balance of helping those truly in need, while also taking commonsense precautions so that no high-risk individuals slip through the cracks and enter the United States. This is why on November 19 I voted for H.R. 4038, the American Security against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act of 2015. Introduced by the Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Michael McCaul (TX-10), this legislation passed the House with a bipartisan, veto-proof majority vote of 289-137.

    Before a refugee from Iraq or Syria can be admitted into the United States, the American SAFE Act would require comprehensive background checks of every refugee and certification that each does not pose a threat. Under this legislation, a refugee fleeing Iraq or Syria would only be admitted into the United States if the FBI Director certifies the background investigation of each refugee and the Secretary of Homeland Security, along with the FBI Director and the Director of National Intelligence, certifies to Congress that the individual refugee is not a security threat to the United States. I believe that adding these extra security certification requirements to the refugee vetting process is the commonsense thing to do given the challenge of screening people from a country where there is limited access to criminal and terrorist databases.

    Going forward, I will continue to do everything I can to maintain the safety of our nation and our people both at home and abroad. In this war being waged against us, we must commit ourselves to a strategy focused on defeating and eliminating ISIS instead of merely containing ISIS. It is time for America to step up and play the irreplaceable role on the global stage that only American can play.

    It is an honor to serve the people of the 10th District in Congress. My top priorities this Congress include creating an environment that will spur economic growth, job creation, and expanded opportunity, while keeping America strong, secure and free. As your Congressman, I will always strive to represent our community with thoughtful, independent leadership and pursue pragmatic solutions to the many challenges we face today.

    I want to thank you again for taking the time to contact me about this issue. Please feel free to visit my website or contact me again should other issues of concern to you come before the Congress. To stay better connected to current legislation and become part of our online community, please sign up for my e-newsletter.


    Robert J. Dold
    Member of Congress