By declaring Minnesota would not be one of the states to close its borders to Syrian refugees, Gov. Mark Dayton displayed uncharacteristic mettle for a politician.
“I want to protect the people of Minnesota every bit as much as those governors want to be able to protect the people of their states," said Dayton. "But to stand up there with swagger and say, ‘Well, I’m going to prevent the wrong people from entering my state’ to me is just ludicrous.”
His words came after media outlets reported that one of the Paris attackers landed in Europe by way of a Syrian refugee boat. More than two dozen U.S. governors — mostly Republican — responded by hanging “Syrians not welcome” signs on their doors, pledging to refuse to take any of the war-torn huddled masses.
Now Dayton's catching hell for his pluck.
An online petition was started in the wake of his speech.
"Let's join together to send a message to governor Mark Dayton that we, the legal residents of Minnesota, do not want Syrian refugees in our state!" reads the "Petition to not allow Syrian refugees in Minnesota."
It began with a goal of collecting 1,000 electronic signors.
By yesterday, the number had reached more than 21,000.
"We don't need to take in and support everyone, especially people from an area of the world that doesn't respect America and brings pestilence," wrote Jana Fitzgerald. "We have enough of this already. We should have been limiting and screening a long time ago to limit the amount of fatal immigrants into the US especially here in MN. We need to keep our MN residents and US citizens safe. This would also keep our budget deficit down because then the state would not be supporting more immigrants on the welfare system ... Which citizens like myself and others end up paying for - and are not happy about doing, we're already not happy about doing for those abusing the system & nothing being done, and those that need assistance can't get it. So DO NOT LET IMMIGRANTS FROM SYRIA IN MN."
Hutchinson's Dan Stuber was much more succinct: "Absolutely not!"
An anonymous commentator added, "We don't know enough about how these 'refugees' are being vetted for security purposes. Also for Governor Dayton to tell us who were born and raised here in Minnesota that if we don't like this situation, we should leave, is abhorrent. I have a better idea. If he likes them so much, he can move his happy ass to Syria."
Lost amid all the outcry is that Minnesota couldn't keep out refugees even if it wanted to. Whether to let them into the country or not is a federal decision. So unless these 21,000 people want to man their own border checkpoints, your new Syrian neighbors will be arriving sooner rather than later.
Still, this inconvenient fact didn't stop the likes of Alexander Kucharek of Minneapolis, who wrote, "Fuckem we have enough problems in this country we dont need there's. Said by a real AMERICAN FUCKEM FUCKEM FUCKEM."
Added another signor, "I want Gov, Dayton to go into the Islamic - Muslim communities alone, no press or body guards, wearing a shirt with a Christian Cross on it."