Sen. Lindsey Graham says an 1883 poem requires Americans to accept huge numbers of Muslim refugees who are fleeing the jihad-shattered wreckage of their home nations and region.
“We’re Americans… [and] Americans have welcomed people in the past who have been fleeing oppression,” the Republican from South Carolina told host Tucker Carlson on FOX & Friends. “Go read [the 1883 poem] on the Statue of Liberty.”
Carlson was skeptical. “Is allowing any refugees at all into this country in the best interest of Americans?” Carlson asked. “It sounds like the overwhelming majority of these refugees, at least the ones fleeing Syria, are men. Probably a lot of them are [ex-] combatants… Why is it in the interest of Americans to have them come here?”
“Two hundred and thirty thousand people have been killed in Syria. Women are being gang-raped by the thousands, so I would like to think that America is a special place,” Graham, one of 16 GOP presidential candidates, insisted.
Graham’s colleague Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) admitted that ISIS will likely try to send jihadis into the U.S. to take advantage of America’s generosity. “You gotta know who these people are… They have to be carefully examined before they would have any chance of entering the United States,” McCain cautioned. “If I were Mr. [ISIS leader Abu Bakr] Baghdadi I might be sending a few of my recruits as refugees to be able to come to United States.”
McCain did not give any specifics to explain how the U.S. should “screen” fighting-age Muslim men from a war-torn country in a manner that would guarantee they would never experience Sudden Jihad Syndrome in America.
So Carslon turned to Graham, asking “the U.S. has let in more refugees than any other country over the past 100 years, but if you’re an American whose kids go to school that’s not that good, you pay too much in taxes, why will allowing refugees from this crisis into U.S. to settle? How will it improve your life? Why should you be in favor of that?”
“I want to balance our national security against our character and — go read what’s on the Statue of Liberty,” Graham said.
“President Obama’s plans to destroy ISIL are not working. Nobody on our side has a plan either. If I’m President of the United States, we’re going to send more ground troops in Iraq, we’re going to get a regional army up, and we’re going to go into Syria with about eight to ten thousand of us and we’re going to destroy the Caliphate and we’re going to push aside to stop this… the worst is yet to come if we don’t deal with Syria.”
Graham’s position is almost a threat: Boots on the ground in Syria, or your sleepy suburb gets a “diverse” surprise.
Carlson seemed to pick up on that vibe. “Senator McCain, when you read stories about law enforcement in say, Minneapolis, having to deal with people joining ISIS — that’s a result of our refugee resettlement policy — and you don’t worry a lot about that happening again or to a greater degree?” the host asked.
McCain reversed his earlier claim, dismissing the idea that Muslim men shipped fresh from the Middle East would try to join ISIS and blaming “the internet” for jihad. “I worry enormously… I want to make sure that anybody who comes to this country from anywhere under any circumstances but particularly this group of refugees. And I think we have ought to have a debate and discussion in the Congress, not an arbitrary decision by President Obama. I’m not for unleashing a flood of refugees in this country,” McCain said.
Then he punted on increasing the number of immigrants and their U.S.-born children who embrace their aggressive Muslim heritage and turn jihadi. “Now what has happened is people have been recruited and radicalized by the internet,” McCain said. “You’re talking about two different problems here.”
Few governments outsource national strategy and demography to a pretty poem on a statue. As Mark Krikorian succinctly put it in 2007:
Emma Lazarus just doesn’t have much to tell us about immigration policy — it’s not 1910 any more and New York’s experience is no longer the norm for immigration — in fact, it’s something of an outlier. And her poem isn’t just a cliche, it’s a propaganda cliche; inserting “Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor!” into an immigration-policy discussion is like answering an economics question with “Overfulfill the Plan by 110 percent!” or settling a philosophical dilemma by chanting “Lenin Lived, Lenin Lives, Lenin Will Live!”