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Editorial: Ohio lawmakers wrong in wanting to turn away refugees

Post editors do not support Ohio House of Representatives resolution to urge President Barack Obama to turn away Syrian refugees.

There are a great deal of ridiculous topics lawmakers mull over for nothing but political gain. In Tuesday’s episode, members in the Ohio House of Representatives spent their time debating on whether the federal government should allow Syrian refugees to relocate to the states.

Those lawmakers eventually passed a resolution urging President Barack Obama’s administration to turn away Syrian refugees in light of the terrorist attacks in Paris. That resolution, despite being the subject of much (and apparently very emotional), debate, really won’t accomplish much in the way of blocking refugees from entering the United States. More than anything, its passage was symbolic.

Even so, and despite it being reported that one of the Paris attackers went to Europe as a refugee, it’s incredibly unfair to blame a horrible terrorist attack on those who have been subjected to many of the same terrors brought by ISIS.

The perpetrators of the attacks in Paris (as well as the ones in Beirut and others) are the exact individuals Syrians are seeking refuge from.

It is irresponsible for U.S. leaders to condone attacks against the Islamic State while simultaneously excluding the terrorized victims who seek refuge in America.

There is a moral imperative here. We find it discouraging that a majority of Ohio House of Representatives failed to see what is patently obvious: People abroad need our help.

It may just be that our representatives in Columbus aren’t hearing that, or seeing the implications of turning away those escaping from terrorist groups. If they would’ve liked a word on what some of their constituents thought, though, they wouldn’t have had to look further than the protest that took place on the Athens County Courthouse’s steps later that day.

Editorials represent the majority opinion of The Post's executive editors: Editor-in-Chief Emma Ockerman, Managing Editor Rebekah Barnes and Digital Managing Editor Samuel Howard. Post editorials are independent of the publication's news coverage.

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