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Protect our American dream

Over the last two weeks, the Paris massacre has been on the minds of so many Americans. It reminds all of us of the terrorist attacks against our country in September 2001. It also has opened the discussion of whether or not the United States should allow 10,000 Syrian refugees to take asylum in our country.

I believe that our country is the big brother to the world and the United States has gone over and beyond what is necessary to allow people to have a second chance. Numerous ancestors sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to arrive in New York City and see the Statue of Liberty. That monument represents a second chance to so many immigrants.

In dealing with the Syrian refugee crisis, I have a lot of questions regarding the way our government is handling the situation; others do as well. To date, there are 31 governors in our country against allowing any of the Syrian refugees into their states.

Last week, lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives voted to halt the relocation of Syrian refugees into the United States while making sure of who’s allowed in and being prepared to handle all of that research and paperwork. The House of Representatives, which is Republican controlled, passed the measure against allowing more Syrian immigrants into our country right now by a vote of 289-137. What speaks volumes is that 47 Democrats voted for the measure, sending a message to President Barrack Obama that the Syrian resettlement program needs a closer look and evaluation.

Many Americans are fearful that many of the refugees scheduled to come into the United States haven’t been properly or fully vetted. They are being allowed into European countries without records or past history, and authorities are unable to fully check for any relationship to ISIS. The same could happen in our own country.

The House bill that was passed declared that the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and National Intelligence agencies could personally vouch that those admitted to come into the United States weren’t a threat to national security.

I’m a true believer in the American dream. People have talked about it for decades. We all believe that someone from another country can come to the United States and find success.

My problem is that we all know that ISIS is now most likely within our borders or at least close enough to strike. Why are we are going to allow more people into our country not knowing their origins and history?

Gov. Phil Bryant last week joined the list of governors to try to stop the federal government from allowing any Syrian refugees into Mississippi, and I support his decision.

The fact that 31 governors want to stop the influx of Syrian refugees and 47 Democrats from the House voted as well shows it is time for our president to listen to what our country is asking him to do.

One other thought, too. As of January 2014, there were 49,933 homeless veterans in the United States. Let’s take care of the people who have fought for our freedom and allow Americans to have the liberties that we enjoy today.

Tim Phillips is publisher of the Oxford EAGLE. Contact him at tim.phillips@oxfordeagle.com.