Hagedorn: Most Americans support 'extreme vetting' of immigrants

A recent commentary piece and letter to the editor in the Post Bulletin have criticized my strong support for solutions to keep America safe from Islamic supremacists.

Both commentators continue to cling to the naïve view that radical Islam would cease if only we weren't so "mean" to those who want to destroy our culture and way of life. I hold a different opinion. In my view, the problem of Islamic-based terrorism is real, global and expanding; and I believe the Supreme Court's unanimous reinstatement of President Trump's extreme vetting order is a much-needed step to address the threat.

I have long advocated national security and immigration policies to defend the United States and protect the American people from Islamic supremacists. My continued call for a refugee program timeout is based upon ongoing assimilation and terrorist-recruitment problems related to existing refugees, both in Minnesota and nationally.

During the prosecution of Somali refugees in 2015, Andrew Luger, President Obama's U.S. Attorney for Minnesota, candidly stated that Minnesota had a terrorist-recruiting problem. That is one reason why during the early stages of the 2016 campaign, and before then-candidate Donald Trump offered his ideas on the subject, I proposed a refugee resettlement program timeout.

Support for such a policy is widely shared, and not partisan. Just last week, according to polling conducted by Politico and Morning Consult, 60 percent of respondents support restrictions that require visa applicants from six predominately Muslim countries to prove a close family relationship with a U.S. resident in order to enter the country, and only 28 percent oppose them. Republicans weigh in with 84 percent support for the policy, Independents with 56 percent support, and even 41 percent of Democrats support enhanced vetting.

The facts speak for themselves. Numerous Minnesota-based refugees have been convicted of conspiring to support ISIS, al-Shabab and other Islamic supremacy groups. Nationally, the FBI has more than 1,000 open ISIS investigations -- at least one in each of the 50 states. It is an enormous and resource-draining undertaking to track so many potential terrorists.

Rest assured, I will continue to lead on this issue and advocate for solutions to block the migration of extremists who subscribe to Islamic supremacy or any ideology at odds with our American way of life and western values.

Moving forward, this issue offers a stark contrast between the Democratic Party's ongoing pre-9/11 mindset of open borders and massive transfers from nations that hate America, and a Republican Party, led by President Trump, that is willing to take long- overdue action to fully protect the American people.