Let’s be clear: ISIS wants fear and hate to thrive. Anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim sentiment is what ISIS needs to grow.
Defeating ISIS is more than a battle of bombs; it’s also a battle of hearts and minds. And nothing undermines these terrorists more than giving refuge to the people they’ve terrorized.
Inclusion, not alienation; support, not hostility. These are our values; they are not ISIS’s values. Betraying these values would only strengthen our enemies.
We’re the most powerful nation in the world. We’re a nation of immigrants. It’s in our character as Americans to give refuge.
All refugees are extensively, comprehensively vetted. They go through multiple high-level security checks, medical screenings and interviews with the Department of Homeland Security. This takes months, even years. We have by far the most secure vetting process of any nation accepting refugees.
Turning our backs on these people would not make us safer.
We’ve lived in the shadow of terrorism for more than a decade now. The risk of an attack may never go away in our lifetimes.
But we know, by definition, that terrorists win when we let our fears change who we are.