In-Your-Face Refugee Resettlement
Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, September 9, 2016 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler
After the November 2015 terrorist attack on Paris, 22 Republican governors publically stated their opposition to accepting Syrian refugees, claiming they wouldn’t allow any more into their states, either temporarily or permanently.
Some governors tweeted opposition to the president; others wanted to know how to stop refugee resettlement; and many dug in their heels, REFUSING to accept more Syrian refugees; but bad news was emerging. States may not have authority to reject the president’s plan. They all soon learned the Refugee Act of 1980 made immigration a federal function, and gave states no legal authority over refugee resettlement.
So, despite strong opposition from state and local officials, increasing numbers of refugees, including Syrians, continue to be brought into U.S. communities secretly, so secretly that governors learn of their presence only when refugees apply for government benefits. During FY 2016, 38 states have received Syrian refugees – Michigan got the most with 706 and the fewest went to New Hampshire that got five. Georgia received 209, the eleventh most, for any state. But twelve states didn’t get ANY Syrian refugee during FY 2016, which began October 1, 2015 and ends in 21 days.
Several mayors, including the mayor of Athens, Georgia, complained to the administration that they need more information on refugees before they arrive, while FBI director James Comey says it’s virtually impossible to vet Syrian refugees because there’s no information to vet. But despite that, resettlement not only continues, it increased from last year’s 70,000 to 85,000 this year, with 10,000 designated to be Syrian, all secretly placed in 190 U.S. cities and towns. With FY 2016 ending September 30th and this year’s goal not met, nearly 400 are brought in every week. Continue reading