Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen's maternal grandparents were Sephardic Jews who fled what is now Turkey because of the fallout of the Balkan War. They settled in Cuba, where Ros-Lehtinen would be born, but when she was 7 years old, her family fled the Communist dictatorship of Fidel Castro for America. Which is to say Ileana Ros-Lehtinen's family story is one of
Yet when it comes to Syrian refugees, the congresswoman says they should be allowed to come to America only if they are "thoroughly vetted."
Ros-Lehtinen appeared on MSNBC this morning to discuss a growing number of governors, including Florida's Rick Scott, who have proclaimed they don't want to accept Syrian refugees into their states. She admitted that governors don't actually have the authority to do anything about it but says it sends a message to Congress to change laws to ensure that all refugees are thoroughly vetted.
"I know we are a nation of refugees, and we've welcomed so many people. The United States welcomed my family. They welcomed your family," Ros-Lehtinen told journalist Jose Diaz-Balart, who comes from a family of notable Cuban refugees. "But we didn't come to the United States... to destroy this country. So all it takes is one terrorist to otherwise destroy this really great program."
Ros-Lehtinen latter said America must take out Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and ISIS to get to the root of the problem.
However, many on Twitter were quick to point out that given her own background, Ros-Lehtinen was being a bit hypocritical.
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@RosLehtinen a reminder - your family were refugees once and granted asylum in this country. A little gratitude and humility is in order now— Jim Langford, LMT (@RedIbis2) November 17, 2015