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GOP Congressman Wants to Ban Refugees in Response to Terror Attack Committed by American

GOP Congressman Wants to Ban Refugees in Response to Terror Attack Committed by American: Pacific Press / Getty

Pacific Press / Getty

There’s been talk of a Republican backlash against Donald Trump of late, but a group of GOP representatives is attempting to do him one better on xenophobic grandstanding. Trump may want to ban all Muslims and immigrants from countries with any terrorism, but Foreign Policy got its hands on a draft of a bill that would ban refugees–just ban ‘em.

H.R. 3314 was first introduced in 2015 and is sponsored by Texas Republican Brian Babin, a man who does things like give interviews to about how scary immigrants are. His recent comments about the Orlando shooting demonstrate this.

This was an attack on American citizens. And for a year, I have been talking about closing this resettlement program, or putting a pause to it at any rate. And my bill, HR 3314, which I introduced one year ago, will stop this program and pause it until we can do a complete fiscal and national security assessment of what this resettlement program costs us. This program is really a UN program. The United Nations tells us who we’re going to take.

Unfortunately, some 85 other members of the House are cosponsors, though reportedly the bill doesn’t have a great chance of making it. Most immigration laws have gotten stuck the last few years.

The bill would ban all immigrants who qualify as refugees from coming to the U.S. until “Congress passes a joint resolution giving the Department of Homeland Security authority to resume admitting refugees.” The bill would also mandate that the Government Accountability Office study the what kinds of benefits these immigrants are receiving, and, basically, whether helping them out is worth it to Republicans.

The thing is, the U.S. does screen its refugees, and quite rigorously. So much so that we’ve accepted fewer than 2,000 Syrian refugees during that country’s six-year, hellish civil war turned into millions of people on the move. These people are screened for years, meaning that President Obama’s plan to accept 10,000 Syrians has not yet happened.

The fact that the world is a complicated place, and that people sometimes behave unexpectedly means that no plan is foolproof. But plenty of surely white American men with guns are ready to be violent tomorrow as well. Or they’re not. It’s very hard to tell, and Americans’ fear of such things, and their misguided belief in the power of prognastication may well lead to bad laws and innocent people being punished.

Are there legitimate terrorism concerns with refugees? Often. Especially to a nation that will insist on bombing and droning and invading the Middle East over and over. However, these 86 Republicans are acting in the worst possible, most Trumpian way.

Let’s say it one more time–Omar Mateen was born in New York. Banning desperate refugees would have done nothing to prevent the Pulse nightclub massacre. But then, that’s not the point. The point is to use the tragedy to demonize people who are mostly peaceful and entirely in need of help from the world, for political gain.

Lucy Steigerwald is a contributing editor for Twitter: @lucystag.

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