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We have been here before

On Sunday, the President addressed the United Nations to urge action on the Syrian migrant crisis. European countries have seen a deluge of refugees fleeing Syria because of the oppressive Assad regime and ISIL. To quote the late Yogi Berra, “it’s déjà vu all over again.” We’ve been here before. Syrians fearing persecution have been fleeing for years. Now we are seeing a mass exodus and the entire world clamors.

Since the beginning of the Syrian civil war in 2012, there have been roughly 250,000 people killed and half of the country's population is displaced, and an additional 4 million have fled as refugees. The President has authorized the admittance of at least 10,000 Syrian refugees. I’ve heard from many of my constituents asking, “who are these refugees and at what cost?” These are valid concerns especially when a State Department spokesman said that it is a “possibility” ISIL and/or Al Qaeda could pose as refugees and find their way inside the United States.

There are Christians being persecuted, children being murdered, entire villages being tormented. That is why I believe we must exercise compassionate caution. The United States authorized an additional $419 million in humanitarian aid to the refugee crisis, which brings that total amount of aid to $4.5 billion since 2012.  While this crisis should not rest solely on the shoulders of our country, it is in our national security interest to see that this migratory crisis is curtailed.

The President and his administration need to look at the source of this crisis. It’s staring the entire world right in the face. Bashar Al-Assad’s tyrannical rule and blind eye to the insurgence of the Islamic State is a cancer spreading like wildfire throughout Syria, leading men, women and children to flee in droves rather than run the risk of torture, enslavement or murder.

We are weeks away from the implementation of the Iran deal that will funnel billions of dollars to the leading exporter of terror. This will only exacerbate the instability and volatility of the region. The President needs to stop leading from a point of weakness. I believe we need to implement a 5-point plan to combat the turmoil in the region:

  1. The President has to build a consensus among the American people through their elected representative.
  2. We need to build a coalition of communities amongst the “neighborhood”. They have the most to lose, so they should be invested in destroying ISIL and mitigating this refugee crisis.
  3. Unleash the American military with airstrikes and allow our special forces to do their job without being tied down by political correctness.
  4. Stop holding strategy sessions in the public for the media to disperse intelligence for use by our enemies.
  5. Build an exit plan.

As a Texan, I was brought up to fight for our state and our country. We have a proud heritage and tradition of passionately defending the persecuted and downtrodden. It’s time the President takes a page from the great state of Texas, stand up to the bad actors around the world, and fight for this great nation and her people.

Randy Weber is the US representative for the 14th district of Texas, which covers Brazoria, Galveston and Jefferson Counties.