Phil Klay Tweets Best Response to America's Refugee Phobia

Phil Klay Tweets Best Response to America's Refugee Phobia
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

After the House of Representatives passed a bill on Thursday that would essentially deny Syrian and Iraqi refugees entry to the United States, Iraq War veteran and author Phil Klay posted a poignant Twitter rant that challenges the refugee phobia spreading across the U.S. in wake of the Paris attacks.

In a 17-tweet denouncement, Klay laid into the American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act. Under the act, a refugee would not be admitted unless "the secretary of Homeland Security, with the unanimous concurrence of the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the director of National Intelligence, certifies to the appropriate Congressional committees that the covered alien is not a threat to the security of the United States."

In the tweets, Klay said he was "tremendously upset" with the decision, citing that as an officer in the U.S. Marines, he swore an oath to uphold Constitutional values and American ideals, which he said include "forging strong links in the Muslim world against extremism."

"I get that people are scared," Klay wrote at the climax of his tweet storm. "But it's only during frightening times when you get to find out if your country really deserves to call itself the 'home of the brave.'"

In the aftermath of the Paris attacks that left 129 dead and hundreds more wounded, a Syrian passport was found next to the body of one of the suicide bombers. Since then, there have been numerous reports suggesting the passport was either fraudulent or stolen. Still, dozens of U.S. governors have announced they will refuse to admit Syrian refugees to their state. While it's questionable whether governors possess such authority, Thursday's House vote more or less banned Syrian and Iraqi refugees from the entire nation. President Barack Obama maintains that he will veto any such bill, but his ability to veto would be overridden should the bill pass the Senate with a two-thirds majority, as it did in the House.

Klay is the author of Redeployment, the 2014 recipient of the National Book Award for fiction, which he wrote after returning from Iraq. The book is a collection of short fiction stories based on Klay's experiences as a U.S. Marine officer during wartime.

Get the news everyone's talking about delivered straight to your inbox every morning by signing up for MicCheck Daily.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Jessica Eggert

Jessica is a staff writer at Mic, covering breaking news. She is based in New York and can be reached at jessica@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Police shooting of Justine Damond leaves Minneapolis Black Lives Matters activists conflicted

“Some white people don’t feel the tragedy until one of them is murdered.”

Capitol police arrest 155 during massive health care protest

Those arrested have been charged with crowding and resisting arrest.

Both sides rally behind John McCain after brain cancer diagnosis

Both sides of the aisle expressed support for the Arizona Republican after announcing aggressive brain cancer.

Senate bill would make it a federal crime to boycott Israeli settlements

The Israel Anti-Boycott Act (S. 720) would make it a felony to support international efforts to boycott Israeli occupation.

3 takeaways from Jon Huntsman’s nomination as ambassador to Russia

Huntsman may be a steady hand on the wheel — but with little direction and Russia expertise, Trump's nominee has a challenging road ahead.

Police shooting of Justine Damond leaves Minneapolis Black Lives Matters activists conflicted

“Some white people don’t feel the tragedy until one of them is murdered.”

Capitol police arrest 155 during massive health care protest

Those arrested have been charged with crowding and resisting arrest.

Both sides rally behind John McCain after brain cancer diagnosis

Both sides of the aisle expressed support for the Arizona Republican after announcing aggressive brain cancer.

Senate bill would make it a federal crime to boycott Israeli settlements

The Israel Anti-Boycott Act (S. 720) would make it a felony to support international efforts to boycott Israeli occupation.

3 takeaways from Jon Huntsman’s nomination as ambassador to Russia

Huntsman may be a steady hand on the wheel — but with little direction and Russia expertise, Trump's nominee has a challenging road ahead.