State Sen. Chris Larson
Press Release

Statement from Senator Chris Larson on Governor Walker’s Attempt to Reject Syrian Refugees

“I am proud to stand with President Obama in welcoming refugees fleeing a vicious civil war.”

By - Nov 20th, 2015 04:06 pm

MADISON – Senator Chris Larson issued the following statement regarding the attempt to block Syrian refugees’ resettlement in Wisconsin.

“I am proud to stand with President Obama in welcoming refugees fleeing a vicious civil war. This civil war, between ruthless dictator Bashar al-Assad and various opposition forces – including ISIL – has displaced up to 4 million Syrians.

“Following the events of September 11, 2001, the United States put aside petty politics and united as one with nations around the world. We have united since as tragedy struck London, Madrid, and many other places around the world.

“As we grieve for those lost in Paris, we need to show our strength and not be intimidated by the perpetrators of these barbaric acts. The terrorists who coordinated the attacks in Paris seek to breed fear, hatred, and division.

“These extremists were deliberate in their objectives; they want us to hate. They want us to fear. They want us to lash out at the unknown. They want us, a nation of immigrants, to reject refugees seeking a safe haven from the carnage and destruction ISIL caused in Syria and Iraq.

“Once again, Scott Walker is on the wrong side of history. His misguided attempt to use the horrific attacks on Paris as an excuse to keep Syrian refugees out of Wisconsin is an insult to our values and our history. Walker wants to give into fear but America is never stronger than when it stands as a beacon of hope for the world.”

Mentioned in This Press Release

88 thoughts on “Statement from Senator Chris Larson on Governor Walker’s Attempt to Reject Syrian Refugees”

  1. mots says:

    Governor “Untimidated” is afraid of refugee families that must go through a 12-24 month vetting process. Why would terrorists subject themselves to a 12-24 month vetting process? Please Governor “Unintimidated” please explain why we should be as cowardly as you?

  2. Paul says:

    Mots, the governor and Republicans along with many Democrats are calling for a vetting process, right now those “refugees” would be on our streets within days.

  3. Jan says:

    Shame on Gov. Walker for his stand on the refugees, as well for his ignorance about the constitution in relation to his power and one of the foundation concepts of the United States.

  4. mots says:

    Paul: Do your homework. You are completely incorrect. Please expend a bit of energy to seek out the truth rather than spewing republican hate rhetoric.

  5. Vincent Hanna says:

    Paul, what in the hell are you talking about? Days??!! Try two years.

    “For Syrian refugees, it takes two years on average.”

  6. David Ciepluch says:

    Many of us have ancestors and friends that fled conflict and wound up in the USA. Many of our ancestors left war torn and conflict areas to avoid forced induction into foreign armies as their cannon fodder. Speaking different languages, arriving in the bottom holds of ships with scant food and money, they arrived here. They took the lowest paying jobs that were dirty and dangerous and were heaped with all kinds of abuse. This is the story of many of our Polish, Italian, and Irish ancestors.

    I grew up on the South Side of Milwaukee and my best friend and his family were a new arrivals to Milwaukee following WWII. My Grandmother called these families DPs. Even though I was a young child I knew it was a derogatory phrase due to the tone applied. My friend Johan and his family moved from our neighborhood when I was eight. I would see him a few times again in the coming decades, and as adult men, he mentioned to me how I had taught him English. I had to laugh since as a young child, I had attended speech class and struggled with tongue twisters.

    As a human species, we are supposed to learn from history and become a better people. As a people, we keep letting fear, differences, hate, and jealousy make our decisions instead of compassion, empathy, logic and reason.

  7. Paul says:

    I never heard any of you or Chris Larson complain when Obama stopped taking refugees from a country for six months in 2011. Why was that ok but this isn’t?

  8. Vincent Hanna says:

    Is that question a dodge Paul, a way to try and shift the focus from your asinine and completely untrue claim in your post above?

  9. Paul says:

    Vincent, not a dodge at all, seeing in 24 hours no one answered, I guess it was a good example of the hypocrisy of the left. Where are those refugees going to be during this two year vetting process?

  10. Paul says:

    CBS is right now showing Syrian refugees in Kentucky that came in two months ago, living among us, not two years, two months

  11. Kevin Baas says:

    Paul it was a question dodge also non as a non-sequitor or more broadly irrelevance fallacy (which is in turn, more broadly a formal fallacy). Aristotle, in his book “On Sophistical Refutations”, suggested that irrelevance fallacies are probably the most common form of fallacy. I’d say this is more specifically red herring .

    The particular “herring” in this case is in fact an “ad hominem tu quoue” fallacy.
    It’s fallacious because it isn’t relevant. showing examples of B doing Y, even if it’s true, doesn’t prove that A does NOT do Y.

  12. Kevin Baas says:

    My comment’s not showing up yet. I’m guessing ’cause it has links. Basically, Paul, you did dodge the question. Your response was two formal fallacies: namely a “red herring fallacy” and an “ad hominem tu quoque fallacy” (latin translation: “at the person, you as well”)

  13. Dave Reid says:

    @Paul And right in that report by CBS it says this: “Shadi said getting to the U.S. was grueling — over two and a half years of lengthy interviews and background checks.”

  14. Paul says:

    Dave Reid, where are these people for that time, out on the streets

  15. Tom D says:

    @Paul (post 7) one difference between now and 2011 is that today we have a huge humanitarian crisis (millions of refugees from the Syrian civil war) that simply didn’t exist in 2011.

  16. Tom D says:

    @Paul (post 13)

    Where are Syrian refugees while they are being vetted for 2 years?

    Outside the US.

    According to the Congressional testimony from the State Department, “The vast majority are in Turkey and in Jordan. We hope later this year to be able to operate on a small scale in Beirut.”

    Has Scott Walker banned Syrian students from UW? I ask because it is MUCH easier and faster to get a student visa and, once here, a student can be a terrorist just as much as a resident.

  17. Kevin Baas says:

    @Tom D : I would recommend staying away from any university or place of education.

  18. Paul says:

    Tom D, the plan is to bring then here now, not two years from now. Another major difference between 2011 and now is, people that came in as refugees a couple months ago just attacked Paris

  19. Tom D says:

    Paul, you (and others) cite the allegation that one of the Paris attackers came in as a refugee.

    The European refugees aren’t being vetted the same way refugees into the US are. In fact, the European refugees aren’t being vetted at all. The US refugees would be.

    The fact that Syrian refugees would come in now (instead of 2 years from now) doesn’t mean we aren’t vetting them over a two-year period; it just means that we have started vetting these particular people over 2 years ago.

    The anti-Syrian xenophobia in the US is so bad that Chris Christie said he would even refuse a 4-year-old Syrian orphan. FWIW, Steve Jobs’ father was a Syrian Muslim, born and raised there.

    At the same time, nobody is doing anything to stop the inflow of possible terrorists entering on tourist or student visas (the way all the 9/11 terrorists entered the US). This tells me the politicians aren’t really interested in security, but find political gains in fanning ethnic hatred and fear.

  20. Kevin Baas says:

    In the U.S., there are over 100 deaths due to gun violence per 1 death due to terrorism. If politicians were interested in security, they’d focus on sensible gun laws. Some politicians are. In fact, every Democratic politician is. The problem is that every Republican politician is blocking that. So the problem really is the Republican politicians in congress.

  21. Paul says:

    Kevin, in the U.S.there are how many black on black deaths per year compared to how many cops shooting unarmed blacks, But the Democrats only focus on the cop shootings, so the problem is really the democratic party.

  22. Kevin Baas says:

    Paul, that’s a fallacy of irrelevance.

  23. Paul says:

    Kevin, as was yours

  24. Kevin Baas says:

    No, security was mentioned. I said domestic violent crime is 100x as big of a problem when it comes to security. That’s extremely relevant.

  25. Paul says:

    And terrorism is how many times worse then the biggest story the media covers, the BLM rantings?

  26. Kevin Baas says:

    Again, avoiding the issue. The security fear of “terrorism” from the very people who are _fleeing_ violence is still WOEFULLY out of proportion.

  27. Paul says:

    Kevin, the issue is ,we are not worried about people fleeing violence, we are worried about the ones that want to bring it here.A very easy way for them to get here, is to pose as refugees.

  28. mots says:

    You have exposed your ignorance and willingness to absorb falsehoods from the extreme right without scrutiny. You are the problem.

  29. Paul says:

    mots, you have exposed your liberal brainwashing and refuse to open your eyes, when you finally realize what’s going on, you’re going to blame it on others.

  30. David Ciepluch says:

    There are 20 million student visas granted annually. This is far greater risk from an assessment standpoint then a rigorous vetting process used for refuges. There are 30,000 people killed annually from gun violence in the USA and from a risk assessment perspective, this deserves emphasis.

    The USA spends well over a trillion a year on security. These experts are not sitting on their hands. Although there are many loopholes. Vetting refuges is being way overblown and stoking fear that is used to manipulate a portion of the population that uses emotion for their decision making instead of logic and reason.

  31. Paul says:

    David, yes student visas are a problem but that doesn’t mean we should not stop another problem from happening. The Democratic party is the one that votes on emotion and feel good policies.

  32. David Ciepluch says:

    Paul – Republicans are great about war as a solution to problems as long as it is not them or their children serving in the armed forces, and passing on the defense cost to our children and grandchildren. As a country, we still have not paid for the first bombs dropped on Iraq, a war built on lies. In the process, the USA destabilized the Middle East, creating ISIS (former Sunni military and secret police) and the refuges of non-warrior populations. In the process Republicans crash the economy and leave the mess for Democrats to clean up while that stand back and obstruct and undermine solution solving and diplomacy.

    The USA created the refuge crisis by breaking Iraq. Throughout history, the USA is a country built on refuges. As a responsible party on the planet, we should be part of the solution.

    Name a decent thing Republicans have done in Wisconsin or the USA that benefits the majority of the citizens.

  33. Paul says:

    David, many if not most of those serving would describe themselves as conservative. We were winning when Obama took over and pulled troops out before the job was finished, that created the void that brought us ISIS. The national debt will double under the mismanagement of Obama, which will cost ours and future generations

  34. David Ciepluch says:

    Paul, you may be a mere paid troll using fox bullet points, or a coward, or you would use your real name and offer real facts to back up your opinions.

    A conservative and Republican are not the same thing. I am a fiscal conservative and expect honesty and integrity from government. Today’s Republicans are not conservative that I have grown up with and more resemble fascism. You can look up the definition.

    As for service – all citizens from across society have served in the military. Most young service people have very little experience in political persuasion. Military leadership is apolitical and reports to the elected President and not a political party. I am a veteran and many of us have fathers, uncles, cousins that served, lost lives, and suffered great harm to themselves and families. All citizens pay taxes and will have to pay off the debt, not just Republicans even though they always look for the least of us to foot the tab for their corruption and incompetence at governing and the financial mess they leave the next administration.

    In regards to the Federal debt, more than half was added on by Reagan and Bush tax policies and spending and still accumulate and pile up today. The economic crash caused by Bush caused further spending increases and lack of tax revenues from job losses, and allowing corporate and wealthy tax loop holes.

    Today about $3 Trillion is owed to the Social Security Trust Fund, $10 Trillion to pensions, IRAs, and 401K investors, and foreign investors like China. Over $9 Trillion of Pentagon spending cannot be accounted for and military performs and incompetent job of tracking taxpayer funds and leaders keep sending them a blank check to spend. The vast majority of the budget deficit was spent on defense.

    In regards to Iraq, it was a war that should never have been started in the first place – a war for oil. The current outcome was predicted by people with knowledge and expertise but that is not the path that was chosen. The USA has not won a war since WWII. Bush agreed to a Shite led country run by Maliki and a pullout of our troops in 2009. We were no longer wanted in the country. Shite did not allow Sunni any power in governance and their former military and secret police gravitated to form ISIS. ISIS routed Iraq Shite led military that was trained by the USA at a cost of $50 Billion.

    And my last question to you that you evade – name a decent thing Republicans have done in Wisconsin and USA in recent history for the majority of citizens.

  35. Paul says:

    David, can you name a decent thing the Democrats have done? Everything they have done lately has caused division in America and caused higher taxes and fees on the middle class. The economic crash was caused by the housing bubble brought about by democratic decisions that everyone should be able to buy a house no matter their ability to pay the loan.

  36. Vincent Hanna says:

    Paul, it is a simple fact that you are more likely to be killed by a white male with a gun than you are by a Syrian refugee. Yet for some reason I have never seen you express any fear of white males here. Narrow-minded fear-mongering is repulsive and un-American.

  37. Will says:

    “it is a simple fact that you are more likely to be killed by a white male with a gun than you are by a Syrian refugee.”

    I don’t really see how this analogy I keep hearing is relevant to anything. I get that it is true, but what does it have to do with allowing refugees into the USA?

  38. Will says:

    If the analogy was:
    “it is a simple fact that you are more likely to be killed by a white male REFUGEE with a gun than you are by a Syrian refugee.”

    I’d understand why people use it, but just whites in general doesn’t seem very relevant. I am WAY more likely to be killed in a car crash than killed by a Syrian refugee,as well.

  39. Vincent Hanna says:

    The analogy is an attempt to highlight the unfortunate and ridiculous fear-mongering that is taking place regarding Syrian refugees Will. I don’t think it’s that hard to understand.

  40. Paul says:

    Will, don’t give them ideas, next they’ll want to ban cars.

  41. David Ciepluch says:

    You have a far greater chance of winning Power Ball than being harmed by a Syrian refuge or even a white supremacist terrorist that are more prolific in the USA.

  42. Paul says:

    David, but if you were given 10,000 to 65,000 free PowerBall tickets each year chances are you would win something

  43. Kevin Baas says:

    David, that’s only true if you look at the actual statistics (104 powerball winners a year, an average of 32 terrorism deaths per year). If you close your eyes and make believe, the situation is downright apocalyptic!

  44. Kevin Baas says:

    Paul, that’s a good point. If you compare 10,000 to 65,000 years of terrorism statistics to 1 year of powerball statistics, the former would probably be the higher of the two.

  45. Paul says:

    Kevin, that’s the number of refugees they want to admit every year

  46. Kevin Baas says:

    Paul, I know.

  47. Kevin Baas says:

    Paul, you said “Kevin, that’s the number of refugees they want to admit every year.” So how many years is that? One. That’s 1 year. Let’s match our base rates here, please. years to years or people to people, etc. not years to people or vice-versa.

    Since 9/11 there have been over 750,000 refugees admitted to the U.S. You know how many were arrested on terrorism charges? Three. 3 out of 750,000. (And not doing terrorism, aiding.) 2 Iraqis, 1 Uzbek. And 0 – ZERO Syrians.

    But the comparison wasn’t of convictions, it was of being harmed. You know how many people were harmed from those 3? Zero. Because nothing actually happened. They never actually managed to harm anyone.

    So let’s multiply this out: 0 out of 750,000, multiply that by 10,000 to 65,000 per year, what does that come out to?

  48. Paul says:

    Kevin, we are talking about complete vetting of the Syrian refugees, France let them in, how’d that work out?

  49. Vincent Hanna says:

    Paul you do realize that the Paris terrorists were from Europe and not Syria right?

  50. Kevin Baas says:

    Looks like I was wrong. For a binomial distribution given k successes out of n trials, the maximum likilihood estimator is k/n. (For the non-probability-savvy, the MLE is the most likely actual rate given the results of a sample of observations). So that gives us an MLE of 0/750000 = 0. multiplying that by 10k-65k refugees a year gives approximately 0 incidents per year. Then if we multiply that again by 10k-65k a year, it comes out to 0. Compare that to the number of powerball winners per year – 52 weeks a year times twice per week = 104, and we see that 0 < 104.

    So if you run the actual numbers, after limiting it to only REFUGEES (as opposed to the entire U.S. population), it turns out that 10,000 to 65,000 years of REFUGEE terrorism statistics is actually LESS than 1 year of powerball statistics.

    I apologize for the inaccurate estimate. I should have adjusted for the difference between total population and reugee population, and the higher incidence of terrorism among the former.

  51. Paul says:

    Vincent, you do understand that some of those terrorists entered France with the refugees using fake Syrian passports.

  52. Vincent Hanna says:

    Paul do you even care that you are wrong? It was a fake Syrian passport.

  53. Will says:

    Is the ibn article cited above true? If so, that’s news to me. So this guy spoke to soon?

    Honest question, cause I thought they had pretty much tracked the movement of one of the terrorists from the ME thru Greece to France.

    “You have a far greater chance of winning Power Ball than being harmed by a Syrian refuge”
    I think it is hard to use historical precedent in analyzing whether or not these refugees pose a threat. I dont seem to recall a group with the legitimacy, intentions and strength of ISIS ever proclaiming the intention to infuse terrorists into groups of refugees like is going on right now. Do people actually believe that it is as unlikely for a terrorist to pose as a refugee and strike the USA as winning the powerball? Because to me that is naive.

  54. Kevin Baas says:

    “I think it is hard to use historical precedent in analyzing whether or not these refugees pose a threat.”

    Agreed: instead of doing calm, rational analysis, we should be basing our judgements on emotion and fear.

    That has always worked so well in the past. Oh, there I go again using historical precedent. Silly me.

  55. Will says:

    @Kevin ok, explain which historical analysis you are using and why it pertains to the Syrians in this instance.

  56. Kevin Baas says:

    @Will: read above.

  57. Kevin Baas says:

    Though I like your approach. Screw facts – unbridled speculation all the way!

  58. Will says:

    For instance, in the last 20 years x amount of refugees came from the ME into the USA. At that time, did a group as well established as ISIS, one which is striking all over the world, ever openly proclaim an intention to infiltrate those refugees? If the answer is no, I dont see much of a reason behind using the past 20 years as an example of it being ok for refugees today to migrate into the USA.

  59. Will says:

    @Kevin, What I am saying is the facts you are using aren’t relevant

  60. Will says:


    From the article:

    ‘Ahmad al-Mohammad’

    “The Paris prosecutor’s office said fingerprints from the dead attacker matched those of a person who came to Europe with migrants via the Greek island of Leros. The man may have been posing as a Syrian refugee.
    Records from Leros suggested he arrived on 3 October and was fingerprinted and photographed. An official there remembers the man arriving, and told the BBC’s Gabriel Gatehouse that something did not feel right about him – he kept himself to himself. He said he would have highlighted his concerns to an intelligence officer, had one been there.”

  61. Will says:


    And this, what the hell?

    ‘M al-Mahmod’

    He entered the Greek island of Leros on 3 October, travelling with Ahmad al-Mohammed.
    French police have not yet named him, but the BBC’s Ed Thomas matched the image released by the authorities with a photo on arrival papers at Leros.
    Our correspondent says the two men bought ferry tickets to leave Leros to continue their journey through Europe with Syrian refugees.

  62. Kevin Baas says:

    @Will, RE comment 59: You obviously haven’t read above yet. esp. comment 47. RE comment 60: So when you’re saying “the facts [I am] using aren’t relevant” you asked precisely for the information i gave in comment 47 in your comment 59, so you’re obviously saying that without actually knowing “the facts [I am] using”.

  63. Kevin Baas says:

    @Will, actually I don’t even understand what you’re trying to say in #59. I get too twisted around in your logic that I fall out of the roller-coaster.

  64. Will says:


    I think in this instance the historical data that matters are those of syrian et al. refugees that have been streaming into Europe and the USA for the last 12 calendar months.

  65. Will says:

    2Kevin, My point was that from around 2001 to 2013 there wasnt a group as strong as ISIS proclaiming the intention to use refugees as a cover to infiltrate foreign land to stage an attack. Because there is a group like that now, using data up until 2013 isnt relevant

  66. Kevin Baas says:

    @Will, RE #65. Yes, that’s my comment #47. RE #66: Ok, so throw out all the data, and just do unbridled speculation. Like I said before, I love your approach!

  67. Paul says:

    Vincent., I stated it was a fake passport, that is why we are calling for improvement in the vetting process. So I wasn’t wrong, you just weren’t listening

  68. Will says:

    “Since 9/11 there have been over 750,000 refugees admitted to the U.S. You know how many were arrested on terrorism charges? Three. 3 out of 750,000. ”

    You are beginning #47 in the year 2001, which as I said is not relevant to what we face today. All ME refugees which migrated to the USA from 2001-2013 are not relevant because there was not an ISIS like entity threatening to infiltrate them. Like comparing Chinese refugees to Syrian refugees,More applicable numbers would be those used applying to ME refugees coming 2013

  69. Will says:

    Its not throwing out all the numbers its just pointing out that you are comparing apples to oranges.

  70. Kevin Baas says:

    @Paul, You’re not understanding – what Vincent is telling you is that it was fake fake. As in it wasn’t used by any of the terrorists to get into the country. None of them were even Syrians. It was planted.

    Why? Who knows, but probably to stoke fear about refugees so people would close off borders from people fleeing terrorism, making the terrorists’ acts more effective.

  71. Vincent Hanna says:

    ISIS isn’t the first extremist group looking to attack within the U.S. right? Will are you saying the Islamaphobes are justified in their fear-mongering?

  72. Kevin Baas says:

    Will, you are throwing out all the numbers. I think you are suffering form amigdyala hijack.

  73. Kevin Baas says:

    Islamaphobes is an unfortunate phrase. There are people who are racists and anti-muslim, and people who have a very real and legit problem with Islamism as a religious movement. The word “Islamaphobe” conflates the two. They should not be conflated, they are two very different things.

  74. Dave Reid says:

    I’d just add that whether or not one of the Paris terrorists traveled through Europe as a refugee or not is irrelevant to the US question. The US process is simply not the same.

  75. Vincent Hanna says:

    Kevin do you have many friends?

  76. Will says:

    I still have no clue whether or not these paris guys were from the ME….Vincent posted a link saying that it explains how none of the paris attackers were refugees and in the article it said 2 were refugees. Can someone clear this up? Just because the passport was fake doesnt mean none of them were refugees


    In a way you are exactly right that I am throwing out all of the numbers because the threat we face from ISIS today in my opinion is different than any of the other threats we have faced since 9/11

  77. Kevin Baas says:

    Vincent, yes I do, but this isn’t facebook – not the appropriate forum, or topic, for that matter.

  78. Will says:

    @Dave Reid
    “The US process is simply not the same.”

    the process might not be the same but the enemy and the tactics they claim to want to use to strike us are the same.

  79. Vincent Hanna says:

    I am not on nor do I ever visit Facebook, so I don’t know what that means. You just always come across as condescending, arrogant, and self-righteous (and this is coming from someone who agrees with you).

  80. Vincent Hanna says:

    Will is ISIS the first extremist group that wants to attack within the U.S.?

  81. Will says:

    Obviously no. But to my knowledge they are the first to say “See those Syrian refugees? We want to pose as Syrian refugees, immigrate to your countries, and then stage an attack” which to my knowledge they have successfully done in Paris.

  82. Will says:


    Have you ever lived in a Muslim country? I have and many of my friends are pious Muslims in the ME so you can save the “holier than thou” schtick

  83. Kevin Baas says:

    I’ve heard that before. I’ve been more facetious/sarcastic than usual today. Taking a break from trying to sugar-coat everything. I’m not going to pretend that there’s some kind of balance in the middle when the reality is black-and-white. That would be playing into what’s called the “false balance fallacy”. And I can understand how stating things plainly can make a person who disagrees (especially one who is not being reasonable) feel somehow slighted. So I can certainly imagine coming off that way. But that’s no argument against anything the person is saying. At best, it’s an ad hominem fallacy or an appeal to tone fallacy.

  84. Kevin Baas says:

    @Will, nice play on words / mixed metaphor with “pious” and “holier than thou”, but I’m not quite sure what you are reacting too and I think we are drifting a bit off topic here…

  85. Kevin Baas says:

    @Will, “We want to pose as Syrian refugees, immigrate to your countries, and then stage an attack” which to my knowledge they have successfully done in Paris.” Then you are still not understanding what Vincent said. Vincent is saying that none of them immigrated to the country with a Syrian passport. However they got in to the country, they acquired or produced that passport _after_ getting in. They never posed as a Syrian. They just planted a Syrian passport after the attack. That or someone else did. In any case that passport was NOT used to get a terrorist into the country.

  86. Vincent Hanna says:

    @Will… What does you living in a Muslim country have to do with Syrian refugees (who are victims of and fleeing terrorists)?

    And as Kevin explains above (not for the first time), your knowledge is wrong.

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