Brian Todd, postbulletin.com - On the sidewalk outside the Centerstone Plaza Hotel north of Soldiers Field Park, Republican U.S. House candidate Jim Hagedorn outlined his position against radical Islamic terrorism Wednesday.
"The United States is at war with Islamic supremacists who adhere to the ideology of radical Islam," said Hagedorn, one of two GOP candidates challenging U.S. Rep. Tim Walz in Minnesota's First Congressional District.
In addition to the attack in Orlando by a Muslim man who had pledged allegiance to ISIS, Hagedorn referenced the terror attacks in Paris and Brussels.
"It's a religious ideology that has killed multiple times around the world," he said. "We have to once and for all declare war."
Closer to home, he said Minnesota is ground zero for the recruitment of Islamic terrorists with Somali-Americans being recruited as fighters in Iraq. It would not be surprising to see them commit attacks in Minnesota.
"We're fortunate those terrorists wanted to fight half way around the world," he said. "Unfortunately, a terrorist incident could happen anywhere."
Hagedorn said he would take three basic steps to fight Islamic terrorism. First, he called for Congress and President Obama to secure the borders. Second, he would like a biometric entry/exit U.S. Visa and passport system that would help track and deport foreign nationals who overstay their welcome. He would also revoke the citizenship or permanent residency of those who engage in terrorist activities, he said.
Finally, he called for a timeout on the entry of refugees.
"We must stop importing enemy combatants from countries that hate the United States and abhor Western culture," Hagedorn said.
The Obama administration has brought in nearly a million such refugees and people from those countries who are otherwise unaccounted for, he said.
"(Walz) supported the Obama-Clinton foreign policy that created the Middle East chaos and the rise of ISIS," Hagedorn said.
"Walz is for giving them amnesty," he said. "We shouldn't be giving them amnesty. We should be tracking them and sending them back to their home countries."