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Refugee Resettlement Legislation would halt Refugee Resettlement in Michigan

December 12, 2016

misaynomore

The Michigan Legislature is attempting to push through even more punitive bills before the holiday break. Just like the bill that seeks to end Public School teacher pensions  and the legislation that seeks to limit picketing and protest in the state, the proposed legislation around ending refugee resettlement could pass before the end of the year.

The resolution, HCR 28, urges the President and Congress of the United States to comply with the Refugee Resettlement Act of 1980 and to halt further refugee placements until the Federal government is “able to comply” with appropriate screening and security checks and consult with local governments in future placements. 

As many of you know, security checks already placed on refugees coming to the United States, are the most comprehensive screening process for anyone coming into our country. Secondly, there is already collaboration between the Federal, State, and Local governments regarding resettlement. The resolution would not have any legal effect, but remains of concern because it communicates false and misleading accusations of malfeasance and threat. Given the high level of coordination and security that currently exist, it is difficult to imagine any level of coordination and security that could satisfy the anti-refugee movement leaders promoting this kind of legislation. This legislation was introduced by Republican Mike McCready from the 40th District.ruxljykv

However, there are also several other organizations that have been lobbying for this type of anti-immigration/anti-resettlement legislation. First, there is the group known as Act for American, which, according to Sourcewatch, is one of the largest grassroots groups dedicated to targeting Muslims. Act for America uses hyper-nationalistic language and fear of terrorism as ways to influence public opinion. The Southern Poverty Law Center also lists Act for America as a Hate Group. Act for America has 6 chapters in Michigan. 

Another group that has been behind the proposed legislation is the Refugee Resettlement Monitor – Michigan.  This organization has ties to Act for America and uses some of the same information sources to update their members. One resource they promote is their Citizen Toolkit, which provides tips on passing local resolutions against refugee resettlement. The Refugee Resettlement Monitor – Michigan is also an anti-Islam group that believes that Muslims are trying to impose Sharia Law on people in the US.

Waterford Township passed an anti-refugee resettlement resolution in October of this year, specifically targeting Syrian refugees. 

Whether the legislation becomes law in Michigan remains to be seen, but it is another indication that the far right is organized and attempting to push more anti-immigration policies.

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