Fox News's Shepard Smith took a surprising line for his conservative news network on Monday, calling for America to remain calm and welcoming to refugees in the face of the Paris attacks.
On Monday, as Republican governors announced their opposition to taking in Syrian refugees, Smith said on his show:
In the face of terror, will we panic, or be calm and deliberative in approach? Confronted with those who want to change our way of life, will we abandon our freedoms and the rights granted to us by the Creator, or will we welcome huddled masses yearning to breathe free?…
Our shining city on a hill is vulnerable. We've always known that. If we change it to accommodate the savages, have they won? And what then would be left to protect? We profess to stand as an example for all the world — our unique experiment in freedom, tolerance, openness, and equality is our gift to societies and peoples everywhere.…
We must not let the rhetoric of potential and political extremists among us lead us to self-destruction. When there's panic, we show resolve. When there's call for extremism, we resist. We are America. We must lead.
In addition to upholding the American ideals espoused by Smith, letting more refugees into the US has the added benefit of working against ISIS's goals. As my colleague Zack Beauchamp explained, ISIS despises refugees: It views refugees as traitors, and the fact that people are fleeing ISIS territory also exposes as a farce the group's claim that its territory is a paradise. Furthermore, rejecting refugees plays into ISIS's hands — it signals to Muslim refugees and their peers that the West is hostile to Muslims, which further bolsters ISIS's efforts to recruit from migrant communities in Europe.
So not only can America and Europe claim the moral high ground by letting refugees in, but they can also work against ISIS through a more open refugee policy.