California senator calls for Iraqi Christians to flee to America
“We reached out in WWII. We reached out at different times in history to help people when they were at the hand of genocide,” Senator Joel Anderson said.
The republican Senator represents the East County and presented SJR 17 in the State Senate, calling for President Obama to expedite visa processing for Iraq’s minority groups and lift quotas on Iraqi Christian refugees to streamline the process of accepting them into the United States.
SJR 17 also urges Congress to pass House Resolution 663 and the State Department to work with the Chaldean community in the United States, the Kurdistan Regional Government, the Iraqi central government and other neighboring countries to secure safe havens for Iraqis fleeing persecution.
Sen. Anderson said it is the only way to save them from Isis militants. “They have said anybody who doesn’t accept their unique sect joint hem or taste the sword,” Anderson said.
But not everyone agrees with him, including Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce President Ben Kalasho. “The choices shouldn’t be: Do you want to get massacred by Isis or do you want to have a mass evacuation? There should be a third choice and that’s what we’re working for,” Kalasho said.
He doesn’t support Anderson’s resolution. Instead, he and others are working with the United Nations in hopes of creating a 20th province in Iraq.
“Basically, a safe haven for Christians and other minorities; that way they can hang on and preserve the heritage, the history, the culture,” he said.
Kalasho even plans to travel to Iraq once security plans are in place, but Anderson is optimistic President Obama will support his resolution, allowing hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians to enter America.
“We’re not saying you’re becoming a U.S. citizen. We’re simply saying you may flee to the United States,” Anderson said.
The fight to crush Isis extends far beyond U.S. involvement. British Prime Minister David Cameron put forth new laws to combat the growing threat posed by Isis. The measure gives police power to seize terror suspect passport in an effort to keep radicalized British citizens in Iraq and Syria from returning to the United Kingdom.
“We now believe at least five hundred people have traveled from Britain to fight the region, “ Cameron said.