In a letter recently addressed to Gov. Michael Parson, Rep. Chris Dinkins, Lesterville, emphasized her belief in a need for a proactive approach to safeguard the well-being and security of Missouri citizens in light of continuing conflict in the Middle East.
"I have zero confidence in the ability of the Biden Administration to effectively vet refugees from Gaza before entering our country," stated Dinkins, a Republican who represents Shannon County along with the counties of Wayne, Madison, Reynolds, Iron, Washington and Bollinger in the 144th Missouri House District.
"It is imperative that we prioritize the safety and values of our state and take a clear stand in opposition to refugee resettlement in Missouri,” she added.
Dinkins echoed the sentiments of those who harbor concerns about welcoming individuals from regions with belief systems rooted in what her office called “anti-American and anti-Israel sentiments” in a press release submitted to local media. She highlighted recent conflict between Hamas and Israel, emphasizing Hamas’ role in the strife beginning with its devastating Oct. 7 attacks on Israel, and the “divisive and dangerous ideologies that individuals from the Gaza Strip may bring with them.”
"The celebrations of these attacks by Hamas supporters and sympathizers have further raised concerns about the potential threat these individuals pose to our citizens here on American soil," added Dinkins.
Hamas fighters killed at least 1,200 people in Israel, mainly in the initial Hamas attack, and 41 Israeli soldiers have been killed in Gaza since the ground offensive began, the Associated Press reports, citing information from Israeli officials. Israel’s military response, which included heavy bombardment of Gaza and a ground offensive, had killed more than 11,000 Palestinians by early November, and by Tuesday, that number had climbed to 15,890 lives lost in Gaza, 70% of them women and children, according to AP.
In her letter calling for executive action, Dinkins’ office said she urged Parson to “proactively prohibit the resettlement of any Palestinian refugees from Gaza in Missouri.”
"Our state has a responsibility to protect its citizens and uphold the values that define us as Americans," Dinkins said. "We cannot afford to compromise the safety and security of Missourians by allowing the entry of individuals who may harbor hostility towards our nation and its allies."