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First take/refugees

As of this morning, about half of the 50 state governors have said they do not want Syrian refugees in their states. No figures yet on how many would go with the Ted Cruz/Jub Bush formula of allowing in Christians only.

To be clear, this is a statement of preference only: Governors have no authority to keep someone out of their state. When I moved from state to state, I didn’t seek or need permission from the governor to move there; as long as I was in the country legally, I could move into whichever state I chose. Freedom of movement is part of what I always took to mean as being American.

The eventual refugees are not U.S. citizens, of course, and there’s a possibility states could withhold funding for refugee services for incoming Syrians. Or not: That may be unlawful discrimination.

Judy Rabinovitz, deputy director of the Immigrants’ Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union, said in one news report, “The bottom line is, for the most part, this is political posturing and fear-mongering among the governors. It is absolutely clear that if a Syrian refugee is lawfully admitted to the United States and wants to visit one of these states or start living in one of these states, there’s nothing the governors can do to stop them. They’d be violating the Constitution.”

If the point of terrorism is to spread fear, then the Paris terrorists are certainly getting plenty of help with that on these shores, not least from some of our own elected officials.

(For a good overview of this, and the source of that quote above, check out this Daily Beast article today – especially the part near the end about the extended vetting process for refugees.)

Don’t take the bait. – rs

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