Rand Paul Tries To Increase Regulation Targeting Victims of Persecution
Rand Paul is running for President with the idea that he would bring a different version of Republican politics to the White House. Rand Paul supporters say that he would serve as a libertarian kind of Republican, respecting individual rights by emphasizing a small government philosophy, free of burdensome, unnecessary regulation.
That promised vision is exactly the opposite, however, of the legislative amendment Rand Paul introduced in the U.S. Senate yesterday. Senator Paul proposed S. Amdt. 2899, an amendment to an amendment to a healthcare bill. Paul’s amendment had nothing to do with health care. Instead, it had to do with expanding the power of the U.S. feds to make life harder for people fleeing oppression by tyrannical governments.
Rand Paul’s legislative amendment specifically targets refugees of special humanitarian concern, people who have proved that they have suffered persecution on the basis of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. It would change the Immigration and Nationality Act to require these victims of persecution to submit themselves to new cycles of investigation and bureaucratic review by the federal government.
There is no crisis of violence by refugees in the United States. Furthermore, the Immigration and Nationality Act already contains provisions for the investigation and certification of possible security risks from people applying for refugee status.
Rand Paul’s legislation creates a new layer of government regulation to address a problem that does not exist except in the fevered imaginations of obsessed xenophobes who imagine a terrorist hiding behind every bush.
There are some people in the United States who have imagined that refugees could engage in terrorist violence in the United States. They don’t have any evidence of any particular plans by any refugees to become terrorists. However, these unfounded fears have been encouraged by politicians who require an atmosphere of fear to motivate their supporters.
With the introduction of S. Amdt. 2899, Rand Paul has shown himself to be well within the fearmongering mainstream of the Republican Party. Senator Paul is happy to join in the ranting and raving against refugees pursued by politicians like Ted Cruz, Ben Carson and Donald Trump, because he’s seen that making refugees into objects of fear has been a successful strategy of self-promotion for his opponents. Just like the rest, Rand Paul is eager to value his own interests over democratic values and enlightened political principles.