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2003 - U.S. Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon introduces the first of several bills intended to block the 78-million-ton Cemex gravel mine in Soledad Canyon [story]

Commentary by Enaya Hanbali
| Wednesday, Dec 16, 2015

EnayaHanbaliOn Nov. 19, U.S. Rep. Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, wrote a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown about how California should not allow 10,000 Syrian refugees into the country because of the current threats that have been made by ISIL to our nation and worldwide. (See Knight’s letter below).

It is understandable that Knight is concerned about the safety of his district as well as our nation. However, these same refugees are also trying to escape from being killed by ISIL, too.

The Syrian people live under a dictatorship that has killed millions of their own people and counting. Syria has been falling apart for the last few years where it has also left the Syrian people displaced and homeless with nowhere to go. These refugees are living in constant fear of being killed by ISIL or the Assad regime every day.

Our country is the land of opportunity for many immigrants, especially here in California. The letter about the Syrian refugees being potential members of ISIL is extremely exaggerated and unlikely, especially in comparison to various social issues that go on in our society in relation to violence such as police violence and domestic terrorism that has been going on in our nation for several years that go unaddressed.

In California and nationwide, according to the Washington Blog and the Guardian (2015), on average, 928 citizens get killed by police every year due to police violence, which increases a citizen’s chance to be killed by a police officer 55 times more likely than a terrorist attack. The rate of domestic terrorism goes up even higher for U.S. citizens who get attacked by firearms. “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2001 to 2013, 406,496 people died by firearms on US soil” (Washington’s Blog 2015). These alarming rates of violence and terrorism do not have any records that any of them were from refugees.

If the Syrian refugees come into the country, the possibility that a refugee would be a member of ISIL is going to be very narrow. According to the U.S. State Department, the number of U.S. citizens killed overseas as a result of incidents of terrorism from 2001 to 2013 was 350. The sad part is that we have much higher rates of domestic terrorism than foreign terrorism. They are both critical issues; however, the chances of a Syrian refugee coming into the country and committing terrorism is highly slim in comparison to other social issues that we face as U.S. citizens on a regular basis.

If we bring these refugees into the country, the crime rate could even be lower than where it is at right now, especially because many Syrian refugees do not want anything to do with terrorism. They are traumatized by it, with everything that has been going on over there. It would be a great opportunity for them to have stability in their lives, which they have been deprived of for the last few years, and get them off the streets.

There is always a possibility that any of these refugees could be a member of ISIL, which makes it important that the U.S. is going to need to do a background check on all immigrants, especially Syrian refugees. However, ISIL has been making more attacks in various places such as Lebanon, Iraq and Paris. A member of ISIL could come from any country or move to any country. It is important that we screen all refugees. It is necessary and adequate for our country and the Syrian refugees to live safely here in California as long as we do investigations on them before letting them into the country.


Enaya Hanbali is a resident of Palmdale and the 25th Congressional District.




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  1. Well the opening statement refers to how these people are fleeing from ISIS themselves. Very true, and our homeless vets are fleeing from starvation and cold. How many have to die before we take action?

  2. How are you going to Vet them? Who are you going to call? The woman that was one of the murderers in San Bernardino lied about her address and other information. We are a state with limited water resources and you want to add more people to the already taxed supplies. We are going into winter and possibly an heavy rain situation and all of our homeless shelters are overloaded already. We already have too many homeless people and Veteran’s with nowhere to go. I think we should take care of our folks first, then see if we have anything left for other folks. You are proposing unrealistic situation with no fore thought.

  3. Chris Hulse Chris Hulse says:

    Sorry but if you had a bowl of 10 cherries and I told you two were poison!! Would you still take the chance and eat them??? Chatnogga, San Bernardino, Boston,Texas, all supposed vetted, yet how many Americans have died!! To many. The answer is absolutely not, until we can protect our citizens, and our vets are taken care of, it’s just that simple. No

  4. Hell yeah let em all in Cali… And when the SHTF do not offer any help!!!!

  5. I didn’t know he was a bigot. Probably wants to get rid of all the Hispanics also.

  6. When Americans die because you “feel” we owe the world a living and offending people is now a greater offense than murder… I will come and see you.


  7. Javi says:

    Those people need to go ahead and rise up against their corrupt government and take back their own lands.

    At this point we have already tried to help with even that.

    We do not have the resources to house, educate and provide health care for these refugees.

    This goes beyond the obvious security concerns that everyone is concerned about.

  8. I’m sorry but I have to agree with Steve Knight. Did you hear what Ben Carson said last night at the debate? He spoke to many Syrian refugee’s and they said YES there will be many terrorist that will infiltrate the refugees and be coming right in along with them. How can we ignore that? Not until they can be positive who they are and a complete background check. Even then I have my doubts.

  9. Joey Cavoto Joey Cavoto says:

    Who ever wants them, go ahead and open your doors to your own homes. They should stay and fight for their own country! I mean, the “good” ones should highly outnumber the bad.🤔

  10. Peter Bishop Peter Bishop says:

    You can’t tell me 100% if that person coming in is a terrorist or not. So why are we risking the lives of our own citizens? Let a stranger watch your kids and then tell me it’s ok to let refugees in.

  11. We don’t even have resources to help our own…

  12. David Caren David Caren says:

    Once Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the UAE agree to take their fair share of refugees, we can start bringing refugees here. They have all kinds of money to build 200 story skyscrapers and indoor ski hills, surely they can afford to bring in a few refugees.

  13. They should be relocated to Muslim countries

  14. I’m sorry but I’m no longer going to support Steve Kight. What is up for re election voting against him he let me down! What is doing is jeopardizing our national security. Sorry Steve I don’t support RINO Republicans.

  15. Article states: “In California and nationwide, according to the Washington Blog and the Guardian (2015), on average, 928 citizens get killed by police every year due to police violence, which increases a citizen’s chance to be killed by a police officer 55 times more likely than a terrorist attack.”

    At least 1,147 people have been killed by U.S. police since January 1, 2015.
    At least 1,108 were killed in 2014.
    At least 3,024 have been killed since May 1, 2013.
    More than several times as many have been shot and survived, initially.

    • Judy Estrada Judy Estrada says:

      Our citizens our problem. We are not the homeless shelter of the world. We have our own issues our own starving fleeing homeless… So regardless of your trying to rationalize this… Its a mute point… Take care of our own first!

  16. Justin Knott Justin Knott says:

    What else is new they don’t care

  17. Bob,Buechner says:

    If they won’t stay and fight to protect their way of life in Syria why would you want them anywhere in the U.S. There are homeless Americans eating out of trash cans that have served in our military that are in need of help that obviously are overlooked by this commentator and politicians alike…..

  18. John Dortch says:

    US citizens killed by police violence?
    That is a really ignorant statement! I hope you never need police protection.

  19. We should not jeopardize our national security this should not be a race issue this is a common sense issue. We should not allow Syrian refugees in here because you do not know who these people are. We have our homeless veterans and need to be take care of we have children in America that need to be fed we don’t need to take care of these people. Let non for profit organizations take care of the Syrian refugees taxpayers cannot afford them here.

  20. Cathy says:

    Yes, you fear mongering citizens of Santa Clarita. I would take in a starving refugee. You forget we greedy nations caused a lot of this mess. Cheap oil ring a bell. We will clear the animal shelter of unwanted pets, but unwanted human beings? We are NOT good Christan’s. We suffer from many of the 7 deadly sins right here, loud and proud. Greed, gluttony, lust, sloth, envy, wrath and pride. And as for the homeless Vets., go ask John McCain and all the other Republicans why they voted against helping them. We helped put these people (refugees) in this situation, we should at least help them out of it. We are selling ISIS the bullets to shoot at them. Then again who takes responsibility for their action these days anyway?

  21. Seriously, they can go to any of all the rest of the countries in the rest of the world that they’re fellow people haven’t mass murdered in yet and blatantly keep planning to keep doing it. It’s not women and children Syrian refugees that r wanting in to this horrid country they hate so much, it’s all the young fit men trying to get let in. Hmmm yea that sounds really smart.

  22. Javi says:

    Everyone needs to google the International Rescue Committee. These refugees are actually getting houses!

    Where does the madness end???

  23. Dan OConnell says:

    The article states that “many Syrian” refugees do not want anything to do with terrorism. I’m sure that’s true. However, even if it is only two percent of the 10,000 refugees who want jihad, that is 200 people who have an interest in creating terror. That is 100 times the number of people who killed 14 people in San Bernardino. Also, I’m sure ISIS would make sure that some of those 10,000 are their own recruits. I have no confidence in our government’s ability to selectively identify terrorists coming into this country. They just can’t reliably vet 10,000 people. I feel very sorry for the Syrian refugees but I am more concerned about our safety.

  24. When you think about it, where are the resources coming from to fund for these people? Taxpayers of course. And when there’s not enough, they will raise the tax. And if it’s not enough still, they will cut budgets from education, health care and etc. And if it’s not enough still, they will raise the retirement age to 70. OMG! I don’t even know if I’m still alive at the age of 60 (with the polutions that we have right now). Don’t get me wrong, those people are also running away from their own country who abandoned them but I have to take care of my own house first.

  25. Jim Oge Jr Jim Oge Jr says:

    I know why not all the people that want them here open their homes to them, that way we know who to blame.

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