To My Constituents,
Just over a week ago, the attacks in Paris reminded us, once again, that we must remain incredibly vigilant in fighting terrorism around the world, as well as protecting our citizens here at home. As state legislators, protecting the residents of our communities is one of our most basic responsibilities and we take it very seriously.
At the same time, we must be careful not to let politics divide us during these difficult times or to exploit fear in a way that paints those who are desperately fleeing violence as potential enemies. We were troubled to see the response of so many governors in recent days, announcing intentions to close off many of our states to Syrian refugees, despite the fact that the US handpicks those who settle here and they go through a rigorous process with multiple levels of screening and security checks. In fact, many of these refugees are fleeing the same terror that unfolded in France, after years of facing violence at home.
It’s easy, and maybe even popular, to give into fears at a time like this, but we must check the facts and rely on our deepest held values to find a balanced approach to the threats facing our country and the world. We thank the handful of governors who have stood against the fear-mongering and proclaimed their states open and ready to welcome refugee families in need.
As we prepare to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday this week, we are reminded of the values of freedom and generosity that are traced back to earliest days of our history. We are thankful for the democracy we live in that allows people from different backgrounds and religions to live here and become Americans.
We are committed to ensuring we keep our families safe and we also support the Administration’s decision to continue receiving refugees, regardless of religion or country of origin. We pledge to work within our legislatures in the coming months to find policy solutions that will ensure security in our states, while we also foster communities who warmly welcome those families who are seeking refuge in the United States.
Rep. Erika Geiss