Charity Fights Back Against Anti-Refugee Governors

Photo: Santi Palacios/AP Photo.
Update: The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit against Indiana Governor Mike Pence over his refusal to let a charity resettle a Syrian refugee family. The suit, filed on Monday on behalf of Exodus Refugee Immigration, said Pence's decision, "is not only ethically wrong, it is unconstitutional."

The family of three was supposed to move to Indiana on November 17, but charity employees were forced to find another arrangement after Pence's decision. They went to Connecticut, but another 19 refugees will settle in Indiana in the next few months, according to the Washington Post.

25 other governors have said Syrian refugees cannot settle in their states, and another six expressed serious reservations. Syrian refugees face a more stringent screening process than any other refugee applying for status in the U.S.

This story was originally published on November 16, 2015.

For Syrian refugees trying to resettle their families in the United States, the terrorist attacks in Paris could cut off what few opportunities existed for them here. President Obama promised to bring 10,000 refugees to America in the coming year, but some politicians are already shutting the door on people escaping the violence in their home countries.

The governors of 24 states, as of today, have announced that they don't want Syrian refugees in their states, saying that they couldn't trust that the people could be properly screened. Michigan, one of these states, is home to a large and vibrant Muslim community, and some 2,000 refugees have settled there in the past year. Approximately 200 are Syrian, and others are from Iraq and other war-torn nations.

Authorities in Paris say that one of the eight attackers who killed more than 130 people traveled to France through Greece on a Syrian passport. Republican presidential candidates were quick to call for an end to refugee resettlement. Ted Cruz — whose father immigrated to Canada and then the U.S. from Cuba — said on Sunday that America should accept only Christian refugees; Donald Trump — whose mother was a Scottish immigrant — has said that the U.S. should kick out all Syrian refugees and refuse to take any others; Bobby Jindal — whose parents came to the U.S. from India — said that the nation should seal its borders; Ben Carson said that accepting Syrian refugees is a bad idea.

These alarmist opinions are not based in reality. According to a report from the Department of Homeland Security, many law-enforcement agencies are concerned about the growing threat of domestic terrorism. A study released this summer found that at least 48 people have been killed by right-wing extremists since 2001, more than twice the number killed by people who identify as jihadists. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, 4.2 million Syrians have already left the country, and another 7.6 million are internally displaced.

Democratic candidates have been more sympathetic to the plight of Syrians: Both Martin O'Malley and Hillary Clinton called for the U.S. to take in 65,000 refugees in the next year. Bernie Sanders also wants to bring more refugees here, although he has not said how many.

For full coverage of the attacks on Paris, click here.
Advertisement

More from Politics

Throughout history, Americans have used activism as a tool to seek positive change in communities and in government. That's no different today. With ...
Election Day lasts just one day — a 24-hour culmination of the seemingly never-ending campaign season. But we’ll spend the next two, four, six years ...
GOP front-runner Donald Trump has gotten a lot of flak for some of the ridiculous statements he's made this campaign season, including that women who seek ...
If the chaotic party politics of the 2016 election have left you feeling completely birdbrained, this video is for you. The Founding Fathers (presented ...
1. Here At Home: A teenager killed his father before opening fire at a school in South Carolina where he wounded two students and a teacher. ...
California passed a law Wednesday removing the state's 10-year statute of limitations for filing of child molestation and rape charges. Governor Jerry ...
Monday night was the personification of media bias and rigged politics
If you had to describe the current political climate in America, what word would you choose: volatile, toxic, or divisive? Perhaps all of the above. ...
Hillary Clinton has been a role model for our generation for years, and now she’s laying out a master class in taking on workplace sexism
1. Major News: A bill to prevent the government from shutting down and to fund the fight against Zika was stalled in the Senate. With a 45-55 vote, the...
We're clearly entering a golden age of socially conscious athletes. As the United States undergoes one of its most important eras of social upheaval since ...
Next week, a bill that bars Louisiana strip clubs from hiring dancers under the age of 21 goes into effect, and while it's been in discussion for some ...
But take heart. There won’t be a President Trump. Not if I and millions of other women in this country have anything to say about it
A young girl delivered a powerful message of peace speaking at the first Charlotte City Council meeting since violence threatened to rip the city apart ...