Ramsey calls for halt on immigration from countries with ties to terrorism
Published 9:39 am Wednesday, December 9, 2015
In the wake of what is now being classified as a terrorist attack on U.S. soil, Tennessee’s Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey is calling for a moratorium on immigration from countries with known ties to terrorism.
As details continue to emerge about the attack on a social services center in San Bernardino, Calif., on Dec. 2, many elected officials around the country have called for greater security measures and questioned the placement of Syrian refugees within the country.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is now classifying the mass shooting committed by Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik, both of whom the FBI said had ties to radical Islam, as a terrorist attack.
The attack in San Bernardino came just weeks after the deadly terrorist attacks that rocked Paris. The known terrorist group the Islamic State, also called ISIS, has claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks that left 100 dead and many more injured in a series of shootings and bombings at popular public spots.
On Tuesday, Ramsey called for the federal government to put a “pause” on immigration from countries with known ties to terrorist organizations such as ISIS.
“If the last few months have taught us anything, it is that America needs to get serious about border security — and quickly,” said Ramsey, a Republican whose district in the State Senate includes portions of Carter County along with Johnson and Sullivan Counties.
Ramsey’s statement on Tuesday came following a call by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to block all Muslims from entering the United States. The comments by Trump have been condemned by rival Republican presidential hopefuls as well as party leaders and other public figures.
While Ramsey distanced himself from the polarizing Trump in his response, he did state he was in favor of some restrictions.
“While I would not favor an explicitly religious test, I do think it is time to place a moratorium on immigration from a long list of countries with ties to terrorism,” Ramsey said. “The United States has been the most welcoming nation in history by a large margin. But a nation without secure borders is no nation at all.”
“We are at war with radical Islam and everyone outside of the Obama administration knows it,” Ramsey added. “It is time to seriously rethink our visa, refugee resettlement and immigration policies. It is time to press the pause button.”
Ramsey has been very vocal on the topics of immigration, refugees and terrorism in recent weeks in response to the San Bernardino and Paris attacks, calling the attacks an act of war and calling for a response.
“Make no mistake: we are in a war of civilizations. The centuries may have ticked by but goal remains the same: a caliphate in the Middle East, the end of Israel and the capitulation of the West,” Ramsey said. “Through death and destruction, they hope to instill fear. But we must remain unafraid. We must never sacrifice liberty for security but our response must be forceful, aggressive and clear.”
We must move quickly to secure our border and monitor those who enter our country through legal means,” he added. “But even that, as the events of San Bernardino make clear, will not be sufficient. Our law enforcement agencies do excellent work and deserve our endless appreciation, but their efforts will never be enough. We must take steps to protect ourselves and our families.”