In the face of terrorism, our most cherished ideals are under attack. Fortunately, Hawai‘i and other states have loudly expressed and re-doubled their commitment to the shared values of a free and open society.

Hawaii's ACLU and community allies strongly support the commitment of Gov. David Ige to welcome Syrian refugees fleeing extremist horror and violence. This is in keeping with Hawaii’s unique and longstanding heritage of inclusion and diversity and its keen sensitivity to the dangers of discrimination against a whole class of people based solely on race.

The U.S. is a world leader in refugee protection and resettlement under terms defined by the U.S. Dept. of State, including a rigorous and multi-layered security screening program. Allowing states to veto this process, especially a discriminatory veto aimed at individuals because of their nationality, conflicts with who we are and why our country is a beacon of liberty for the world.

We urge all our elected officials to hold fast to our local and national core values and resist the efforts of those driven by fear and not facts.