Durbin: History Will Judge How Congress Responds to Paris Terror Attacks
Durbin: When President Hollande of France announced that his country would receive 30,000 refugees AFTER this attack he made it clear that he would not hold those innocent, helpless refugees accountable for the terrible misdeeds of these terrorists.
WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) took to the Senate floor today to speak out against a slew of Republican proposals to respond to the Paris terror attacks by closing the door on Syrian refugees fleeing similar terrorism and violence in their own country:
“We will reflect in years to come about what happened in this world in the last week. We will reflect on the terrible tragedy that occurred in Paris, France, in Beirut, and other nations that was led by ISIS terrorists. We will reflect on those poor victims who died as a result of their terrorist acts. And we will also reflect on acts of heroism and wisdom that emerged from this terrible tragedy. Heroism on the ground in Paris and other places from those who defied these terrorists, and those who risked their lives to bring those responsible to justice. And the wisdom and compassion shown by leaders around the world not to exploit this situation. When President Hollande of France announced that his country would receive 30,000 refugees AFTER this attack he made it clear that he would not hold those innocent, helpless refugees accountable for the terrible misdeeds of these terrorists. When the nation of Canada said that they would accept thousands of refugees even after the Paris attack, they showed the wisdom and good sense to differentiate those helpless victims of terrorism around the world, who are seeking refuge on our shores, from those who perpetrated these terrorist acts.
And listen to the debate on Capitol Hill. Listen to the unanimous consent request made this morning by the junior Senator from Texas. It is not consistent with that ethic. It is not consistent with those values. To say that we will only accept refugees who are the victims of genocide would close the doors to Cuban refugees who came to the United States to escape all of communism and what it meant to their families. It would have closed the doors to Soviet Jews persecuted in that country, who were looking for freedom and came to the United States as refugees. I can list countless others, who were not the victims of genocide, but they were the victims of persecution. They were from war-torn countries. They were the victims, as Senator Leahy has said, of gang rape and terrorism. Listen to what has been said on the other side of the Rotunda and in this chamber today. It does not merit the kind of appreciation of American values which we insist on when we make these critical decisions. In time of war, in time of attack, sometimes rash decisions are made. I predict that in the course of history, as people in the future reflect on what happened in the United States Senate and the House of Representatives this week, they will hope that saner voices would have prevailed.”
Video of Durbin’s remarks is available here.
Audio of Durbin’s remarks is available here.
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