Flathead Beacon: Security is Our Top Priority

The Orlando terrorist attack bears a weight that cannot be overstated. There are 49 American families – mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, and friends – who said goodbye and buried their loved ones far too soon.

Montana is a long way from Orlando, but across our state there were vigils mourning this unnecessary loss of life. Montana, and the nation, unite with Orlando.

This terrorist attack, the deadliest in American history since 9/11, was executed by a terrorist who pledged allegiance to ISIS. Threats of terror within our borders and against our allies continue to grow. We need a sound strategy to deter and defeat this rising threat.

Director Clapper stated that ISIS fighters are using the refugee exodus from Iraq and Syria to disguise themselves among innocent civilians and exploit the resources and freedoms provided by these countries. The President’s refugee acceptance would surely make America the next country to fall victim to their schemes.

Since 2014 ISIS has committed or inspired at least 126 terrorist attacks in 23 countries. These attacks have killed nearly 1,800 people and injured thousands more. We cannot allow more Americans to add their loved ones to the death toll.

President Obama’s proposed refugee acceptance fails to prevent the irrational and perverse goals of ISIS and its ability to inspire tragedies like Orlando. Obama has called ISIS a “JV team.” Let’s be clear: the goal of ISIS, ISIL, DAESH and any other name for radical Islamic groups is to destroy the very freedoms that make our nation great.

Now is not the time to relax the safety of our borders or the security of our neighborhoods. Enemies of the state should not receive a refugee ticket for entry to America.

Montanans are compassionate, but we are also an intelligent. We should address the human condition of refugees at the source of their strife, in the familiarity of their own geography and in the heritage of their own cities. At this time, we cannot complete comprehensive and exhaustive background checks on these refugees.

The Obama administrations current process fails to address the lack of information and insufficient data that security departments from at risk countries submit for investigation. ISIS fighters currently have access to passport making facilities and are already using forged Syrian passports to pose as legitimate travelers.

We cannot allow our President to remain passive as these criminals lay foundations in our soil or file for residency in our neighborhoods. It is time to respond to Orlando attack with a comprehensive strategy to eliminate every safe haven for radicalism on our shores.

Terrorism will not find shelter in America. Terrorists will find no hiding place in our communities. We will ensure that they are unable to inflict any more pain on our neighbors, our friends and our families.

President Obama’s refugee resettlement policy puts innocent Americans at risk.

That’s why I support the Syrian Refugee Verification and Safety Act, which would suspend the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the U.S. until we have 100 percent certainty that refugee candidates are safe and secure to enter this country. We cannot relax our internal security at the height of global insecurity. The Syrian Refugee Verification and Safety Act will counteract the Obama administration’s attempt to muddle the alarm of Orlando.

In the aftermath of these terrible tragedies that we experience far too often, we must remember that we are fighting a war against radical Islam. ISIS and radical Islam is our enemy. The senseless hate of radical Islam and ISIS will not defeat, but rather strengthen our resolve and commitment to defend freedom. Our nation is strong, and together we will ensure victory over the terrorists who wish to destroy our way of life.