Monday | October 24, 2016
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Keeping the terrorists out

Factions among and within the right and left disagree about immigration, but nearly all Americans can agree that foreign terrorist shouldn’t step foot on our shores. Thanks to Rep. Doug Lamborn and Sen. Ted Cruz, Iran won’t be shipping a former hostage taker to the United States to serve as that country’s ambassador to the United Nations.

“It will give the president the power to prevent an Iranian terrorist from entering our country with diplomatic immunity,” Lamborn said of the Cruz-Lamborn bill.

Lamborn and Cruz pushed the bill through the House and Senate this week with unanimous support from both chambers. It was crafted in response to Iranian President Hasan Rouhani’s naming of Hamid Aboutalebi as ambassador to the U.N., based in New York. Aboutalebi was among terrorists who held 52 Americans hostage in Iran from 1979 to 1981.

The bill awaits the president’s signature. White House spokesman Jay Carney this week called the Aboutalebi appointment “not viable.”

“Congress has voted unanimously in support of a bill to reject Iran’s deliberately insulting nomination of a known terrorist — one of the 1979 hostage-takers — to be their ambassador to the United Nations,” Cruz said after the bill cleared Congress on Thursday. “We, as a country, can send an unequivocal message to rogue nations like Iran that the United States will not tolerate this kind of provocative and hostile behavior.”

Even common-sense legislation can become controversial for the sake of one side depriving the other of progress. In a country so deeply divided along partisan lines, it’s good to see two of the most conservative members of Congress introduce and promote legislation that obtained almost unanimous support.

“It is great to see Congress send a strong, bipartisan message that Iranian evildoers will be treated like terrorists, not tourists,” Lamborn said in a written statement after House passage of the bill Thursday. “Terrorists, from Iran or elsewhere, should not be allowed to walk the streets of Manhattan with diplomatic immunity.”

The bill even obtained support from archliberal Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who typically opposes all things Republican.

“It may be a case of strange bedfellows, but I’m glad Sen. Cruz and I were able to work out a bill that would prevent this terrorist from stepping foot on American soil,” Schumer said in a statement. “We ought to close the door on him, and others like him, before he even comes to the United States, and that’s exactly what this bill will do.”

For baby boomers and others old enough to remember, the Iranian hostage crisis was an event that forever changed this country. Americans were so tuned in to the crisis that ABC launched “Nightline” as a means of providing nightly, in-depth updates. The crisis played a major role in the downfall of President Jimmy Carter and the election of President Ronald Reagan. It helped Reagan convince Americans of the need for a more modern, better-funded national defense.

Among hostages was our own William Gallegos, who was a 21-year-old Marine Corps guard from Pueblo when Iranian militants stormed the American Embassy in Teheran on Nov. 4, 1979. He recovered from the ordeal and went on to contribute to public safety as a ranking detective for the Denver Police Department. Allowing the likes of Aboutalebi in this country would serve as an insult to great Americans such as Gallegos.

— From the Colorado Springs Gazette

It also would serve as a major sign of weakness. We thank Lamborn and all members of Congress for helping him and Cruz send a message of strength to Iran and the world. If you’re an enemy of this country, don’t tread on our soil.

— From the Colorado Springs Gazette


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