You know that earlier this week Michigan’s governor Rick Snyder helped lead the shameful charge against accepting Syrian refugees that Republicans have cravenly engineered in order to stoke fears in the aftermath of terrorist attacks in Paris last week.
Now we know that he called for a pause in the program for no clear reason.
In an interview on NPR Thursday, the governor was asked what about the vetting process for the refugees concerned him.
“I wouldn’t single out any specific problem I have with it,” he said.
He added, “When you have these events, doesn’t it make sense you should pause and simply say, let’s continue looking at these events?”
But Snyder made it clear he’s not actually looking at “these events” in Paris to assess the situation.
“Most of the Paris attackers, including the alleged planner of the attacks, were either Belgian or French,” The Huffington Post‘s Elise Foley pointed out. Both Belgium and France are among the 38 countries whose residents can visit the United States with no visa at all. Snyder does not think this program should be paused.
Constitutionally he likely does not have the power to stop either program, which highlights the political nature of his “protest.”
Most Republicans — including presidential candidate Ben Carson who used to situation to compare refugees to dogs — seem unaware or uninterested actual mechanics of the extensive 18-24 month vetting that Syrian refugee go through, which have resulted in less than two thousand of the hundreds of thousands men, women and children who have been displaced from Syria being resettled in this country.
The process is intensely arduous for those who’ve been driven from their homes. The few refugees we accept post almost no security threat, says the right-wing Cato Institute. In fact, it might be more dangerous to reject them.
Nationwide the GOP has seized the fear surrounding the attack to effectively corner Democrats.
Forty-two House Democrats shamefully joined Republicans to pass a bill calling for the refugee vetting program to be ground to a halt with a veto-proof majority. It now goes to the Senate. One GOP aide reportedly said “we’ll crucify” Senate Democrats if they block the bill.
One Democratic governor/U.S. Senate candidate — Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire — also bowed to the pressure. Only the Republican governor of Utah has publicly said his state will continue accepting refugees.
Polls have shown that the public is siding with the GOP on the issue, though the tide may be turning as the shock of Paris wanes and Republicans’ bald opportunism is exposed.
Hints of America’s rejection of Jewish refugees and internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II have led to the United States Holocaust Museum issuing a rare statement commenting on controversy:
Acutely aware of the consequences to Jews who were unable to flee Nazism, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum looks with concern upon the current refugee crisis. While recognizing that security concerns must be fully addressed, we should not turn our backs on the thousands of legitimate refugees.
The Museum calls on public figures and citizens to avoid condemning today’s refugees as a group. It is important to remember that many are fleeing because they have been targeted by the Assad regime and ISIS for persecution and in some cases elimination on the basis of their identity.
A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum inspires citizens and leaders worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity.
Hopefully Governor Snyder will reconsider “these events” and reverse his shameful stance.