Shame on Reps. Tulsi Gabbard and Ami Bera for Voting to Block Syrian Refugees

Representative Ami Bera of California
Representative Ami Bera of California

The headline says it all: shame on Asian American House Representatives Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and Ami Bera (D-CA) for casting votes earlier this evening to essentially block 10,000 Syrian refugees from resettling in the United States.

Earlier tonight, the House passed the sweeping bill (HR.4038, or euphemistically, the American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act) which would have placed such severe restrictions on the process of admitting refugees from Syria or Iraq as to essentially block their entry. The bill’s author claimed that the legislation was designed to protect America from national security threats posed by incoming refugees, yet refugees are already subject to the most stringent, and one of the lengthiest, vetting process of any incoming immigrant group. Since 2001, 750,000 refugees have been admitted and resettled in the United States, and none have gone on to commit an act of domestic terrorism.

Nonetheless, House Republicans authored and passed a bill that blocks entry of refugees from Syria and Iraq — refugees who desperately need our help — and they did it with legislative language crafted to explicitly target a specific group of people for exclusion based on their ethnic origin.

Continue reading “Shame on Reps. Tulsi Gabbard and Ami Bera for Voting to Block Syrian Refugees”

Mayor Justifies Turning Away Syrian Refugees By Citing Japanese American Incarceration

Mayor David Bowers of Roanoke, VA. (Photo credit: Ryan Stone / Washington Post)
Mayor David Bowers of Roanoke, VA. (Photo credit: Ryan Stone / Washington Post)

(H/T: Snoopy)

Roanoke mayor David A. Bowers, a Democrat who is now in his fourth term in office,  joined the growing chorus of (mostly Republican) American politicians vocally trying to turn away Syrian refugees; but Bowers has taken a unique angle on his reasons why.

In an entirely unsolicited press statement, Bowers’ office  announced it would be asking Roanoke Valley government and non-government officials to halt aid to Syrian refugees. He justified the stance by suggesting that President Franklin D. Roosevelt was right to treat Japanese American civilians with similar suspicion during World War II.

Continue reading “Mayor Justifies Turning Away Syrian Refugees By Citing Japanese American Incarceration”