I was very upset to see Governor Rick Snyder claiming that he would put an end to Syrian refugees being resettled in Michigan.
First, I don’t know how Snyder plans on prohibiting the resettlement of refugees without violating federal law. The State Department, not Rick Snyder, enforces U.S. immigration policy and resettles refugees through the Refugee Admissions Program. Second, Snyder should get his facts straight before committing to a position that amounts to nothing more than ignorance at best, and destructive fear-mongering at worst.
I don’t have a lot of experience working with refugees, but I have enough experience to know that the U.S. State Department has an *extremely* robust system in place to ensure that refugees do not pose a threat to national security. The facts speak for themselves — 750,000 refugees have resettled in the United States since September 11th, and *not one* has been arrested on domestic terrorism charges.
I called Governor Snyder’s office today to inquire about his position. I asked a staff member — who purportedly had some authority to speak to Governor Snyder’s position on immigration policy — “what specific concerns does the Governor have with the existing resettlement program?” and “does the Governor have any actionable policy proposals to improve the existing resettlement program?” I was told, verbatim, “The Governor’s concern is specific in that it is a general concern.” That is literally, word-for-word, what the staff member told me. What utter nonsense. This politicking at its worst.
It’s clear that Governor Snyder doesn’t actually understand U.S. immigration policy. If he did, he and his staff would be able to articulate a coherent response to my very simple questions. Indeed, I doubt Snyder has even bothered to visit the State Department’s website or made any effort to understand how, exactly, refugee resettlement works right now. I also doubt Governor Snyder has bothered to examine who, exactly, is feeling the bloodshed in Syria. The people who massacred innocent civilians in Iraq, Paris, and Beirut are the same people who are forcing families to flee from their homes in Syria.