DFL gubernatorial candidate Paul Thissen thinks that accepting refugees is the morally right thing to do. Thissen doesn’t attempt to hide this in his Pi-Press op-ed. Thissen starts by saying “I spent a morning last week at Washington Technology Magnet School in St. Paul.  The highlight of the trip was a visit to an English Language Learner classroom filled with junior-high-aged children whose families had recently arrived in Minnesota. Bright eyes and smiles accompanied the practiced English greetings that welcomed me into their classroom – a classroom that buzzed with the energy of active and intense learning.”

What’s missing from Thissen’s op-ed was how much translators in that classroom cost. There certainly isn’t anything mentioned how much translators working in classrooms across the state cost. Apparently, that isn’t Thissen’s concern. Apparently, being an accepting society is the only thing that matters to him.

What’s most telling about Thissen’s thinking is when he said “Rather than appealing to Minnesota’s longstanding and proud tradition of welcoming refugees, a tradition led by religious organizations across our state, Johnson plays to baser instincts of fear and division.” First, these aren’t “religious organizations” as much as they’re money-grubbing nonprofits. They aren’t doing this for altruistic reasons. LSS wouldn’t be in the refugee resettlement industry if they weren’t raking in tens of thousands of dollars from the resettlement programs.

Next, it apparently hasn’t dawned on Thissen that we’re probably reaching a saturation point in terms of refugees. A loyal reader of LFR told me that it cost the St. Cloud Hospital $450,000 of its own money to treat foreign-born patients just 4 years ago. Just a year ago, that figure had jumped to $1,700,000. Does Thissen think that money grows on trees, then is dispersed to hospitals and high schools to pay for treatment and translators? This sentence is pure spin:

Federal officials consult closely with local resettlement agencies (Catholic Charities, Lutheran Social Services, the Minnesota Council of Churches) to assess local resources — including staffing, affordable housing and capacity for services like ESL classes and health screenings — before determining the number of refugees our communities can absorb.

If that’s so, explain this video:

From what I’ve seen, the health screenings either don’t happen or they don’t stop serious health difficulties from happening. Finally, there’s this:

When we take actions that turn desperate people away out of fear, out of smallness, or out of political expediency, we fail a fundamental test of character. We fail America. We fail Minnesota. We fail ourselves.

When we turn people away because our communities are going broke absorbing them, we pass the test of rational thinking. When we say that we don’t want additional refugees because of the health risks that they pose, it’s proof that we’re capable of rational thought. Contrary to Rep. Thissen’s accusations, we aren’t failing anything. We’re proving that we’re capable of saying enough is enough.

3 Responses to “Thissen hearts refugees, tax increases”

  • Lisa says:

    This guy sounds like he rides around on a rainbow fueled unicorn.

  • Chad Q says:

    Why do we continue to allow people into our country who don’t speak our language, don’t have jobs or any useful skills that can get them a job and stay off of our generous welfare programs? Just think how much money each state and the nation would save by not having to have interpreters or print government documents in 20 languages. I can’t imagine moving to a foreign country not knowing how to speak their language and expecting them to support me.

  • Gary Gross says:

    Chad, here in St. Cloud, the City Council voted against a resolution that would’ve suggested the legislature vote to impose a moratorium on the refugee resettlement program. The 6 people who voted against that resolution said that St. Cloud should be known as a “welcoming community.” The City Councilman who proposed the moratorium simply wanted a pause in the program until we found out a) how much primary resettlement was costing taxpayers & b) whether we were getting stretched to the limit already. (We are.) These liberals, one of whom is a Republican, think it’s our obligation to keep the floodgates open.

    I know of people whose kids were in AP level classes who aren’t anymore because funding got shifted from the 9 AP classes to funding for translators. (BTW, now there are just 4 AP classes at the school in question.) Still, the school board insists that funding is just fine. People in the know expect their property taxes to skyrocket within the next 12-18 months.

    Being a welcoming community just gives me such great joy. NOT.

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