Look around you. This is Minnesota.

Israel Malachi

Alvin Tostig Has a Son Today. Recently, in the face of some 30-odd U.S. Governors announcing that refugees from Syria would not be allowed in “their” states, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton proclaimed that, not only would refugees be welcome in Minnesota, any resident that didn’t like it should get out. “Look around you. This is Minnesota,” Dayton said. “Minnesota is not like it was 30, 50 years ago. … This is Minnesota and you have every right to be here. And anybody who cannot accept your right to be here, should find another state.” “If you are that intolerant, if you are that much of a racist or a bigot, then find another state. Find a state where the minority population is 1 percent or whatever. It’s not that in Minnesota. It’s not going to be again. It’s not going to be that in St. Cloud, or Rochester or Worthington,” Dayton continued, righteous indignation spilling everywhere. Really? Anyone who questions the wisdom of settling a potpourri of Middle Eastern and North African people into Minnesota, no questions asked, is a racist or a bigot? They should have to move out of the state that has been their home? Graham’s Hierarchy of Disagreement lists name calling as the lowest type of argument in a disagreement, so I think that Minnesotans are due a little better refutation than that from our governor. Yes, the population of this nation is made up of immigrants, with the exception of our Native American fellows, but there are laws and guidelines and a measure of common sense that must be taken into account before we roll out the welcome mat to just anyone. The refugees in question are journeying here from Syria and Iraq, regions where the Islamic State is in control. According to the U.K. Daily Express, (November 18, 2015) “(the) Islamic State, also referred to as IS and ISIS, is believed to be actively smuggling deadly gunmen across the sparsely-guarded 565-mile Turkish border and on to richer European nations...” “They are following the well-trodden route taken by refugees and migrants fleeing, travelling across the border of Turkey then on boats across to Greece and through Europe. There are now more than 4,000 covert ISIS gunmen “ready” across the European Union.” The UNHCR, (The UN Refugee Agency) reported recently that of the 899,670 refugees to arrive by sea in Europe, in 2015, approximately 72% are adult men. This is not to say that the refugees eligible for resettlement in the U.S. would be that demographic. The split is more likely to be 50/50, men and women, with slightly more men. Half will be children, one-quarter will be over the age of 60, ideally. Out of the proposed 10,000 Syrian refugees President Obama intends to let in to the country this year, we can expect that 2500 of them will be adults under age 60. Is this cause for alarm? You tell me. On December 2, 2015, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, a married couple, shot and killed 14 people and injured 21 others at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California. They targeted a San Bernardino Department of Public Health training event and holiday party with about 80 employees in attendance at the rented conference room. Farook was a native-born American citizen, but his wife was a recent immigrant from Saudi Arabia with an allegiance to ISIS. By all accounts, Malik appears to have been the mastermind, and there may have been plans to carry out more mayhem, however, the spree was cut short when police killed both of them in a shoot-out. I realize that this incident doesn’t directly tie in with the refugee crisis, since Malik was legally admitted to the U.S. on a so-called “Fiancé Visa” that gives you 90 days to get married once you arrive, and she appears to have followed all of the rules. What is concerning is the fact that she DID follow all of the rules and behaved nonchalantly in the months leading up to the attack. This leads me to think that if terrorists are planning on entering the country, they will do so legally and lead quiet lives until they are ready to execute their plans for terror. Much has been said about the religion of Islam and how “infidels” (those who are not Islamic) are fair game for slaughter, rape and whatnot. I refuse to go there. America is open to people of any religion, or to people of no religion. Keep in mind, however, that Christians and Jews make up as much as 74% of the U.S. population, so popular opinion is going to trend against letting in people who swear enmity with Christians and Jewish people. Thankfully, we are not governed by popular opinion, but by laws. The immigration laws on the books need to be carefully adhered to, that is really the best we can do regarding the people we do allow in, but really, the solution is for the Syrians to stay put, and for America to actually help them create a safe place in their home country, their home. 10,000 refugees is a drop in the bucket, considering the numbers coming in to Europe, and I would be willing to bet that there isn’t going to be much stomach for numbers any larger than that for some time to come.