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An Open Letter to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder on Syrian Refugees


Dear Governor Rick Snyder,
 
I read recently that the Michigan, my home state, was on the illustrious list of 27 states that were refusing to grant refugee status to refugees coming from Syria.
 
"Given the terrible situations in Paris and Lebanon, I am asking for a full review of security clearances and procedures for all refugees who have the potential to be placed in Michigan."
 
Never mind that it’s completely unconstitutional and illegal for you to refuse asylum. You don’t have the authority to issue this kind of decree, so I am assuming you’re only appealing to the most xenophobic elements of the lowest common denominator voters. So your declaration, while offensive, is meaningless. Just two months ago, you were hoping for more Syrians to settle in Detroit. Now, you are sheepishly following the bigoted announcements from many other Republican governors.
 
Shame on you.
 
What I want to know is: Why do you think you are a such a special snowflake that you are too good to accept refugees?
 
Are you afraid they will set off a bomb in Detroit? Too late. It already looks like a war zone. The Motor City has the highest murder rate and violent crime rate of any major city in the U.S. The unemployment rate is about twice that of the rest of the state. 8 Mile is a great movie unless you actually have to live it.
 
detroit.png
Pop quiz: Detroit or Damascus?
 
Perhaps you think that the refugees would like to embrace the entrepreneurial spirit and start a career in the wild and wonderful world of meth production? That is an area where Michigan is actually succeeding. Michigan is one of the methiest states in the country. Hilariously, there’s a positive correlation between states refusing asylum and their number of meth labs. Heroin use is also on the rise.
 
Or, it’s possible their children would like to develop early-onset Type II diabetes. Michigan is an unhealthy state, with an obesity rate topping out at 30% of adults.
 
Those famous union jobs? They’re gone. You and your cronies pushed through a Right-to-Work bill in 2012, despite massive protests outside the Capitol.
 
What makes you think that your state is so special that not only will Syrian refugees (some of whom are Orthodox Christian, not Muslim) want to flock to your state, but they will actually be behooved to do a better job of destroying it than you have? Are you afraid that they will commit an act that is more heinous than a prank the weekend University of Michigan-Michigan State game? Because, let’s face it: Michigan fans defacing MSU’s Sparty statue with a paint gun is a more realistic scenario than Michigan experiencing a terrorist attack such as what we have witnessed in Paris and Beirut.
 
Not only are your comments embarrassing for Michigan, they contribute to making the United States a laughingstock overseas. Your stance isn’t helping your party any. Maybe it might win over some racist voters, but I doubt you’re helping to bolster international support for America’s insane crusade against Russia. The Republicans (and Democrats) have entirely lost their ability to form a sane thought about Russia.
 
And you look worse for the comparison.
 
Russia has been experiencing terrorist attacks for quite some time. Do you know how many Michigan has had this century? Zero. None. Zilch. Zip. Nada. Although Russia’s official policy toward Syrian refugees has been a little catty (or possibly naive -- asking the countries responsible for the Syrian crisis to take in the refugees is a bit more responsibility than said countries can handle),  they haven’t stated a refusal to accept them as you have done. If anyone has a right to refuse entry to foreign nationals, it is a country that recently experienced the loss of over 220 of its citizens in a terrorist attack. The numbers are hard to nail down, but Russia has already accepted an estimated 1 million refugees from Ukraine. U.S. policies led directly to both of these crises, but the One Tough Nerd who ran on a campaign of being a Washington outsider has consistently toed the establishment foreign policy line. Now you feel you’re in a position to tell the Department of Homeland Security not to send any refugees your way? Where was the Tough Nerd when the political elites foolishly decided to oust Assad?
 
Governor Snyder, the day the Russian plane went down, you cheered for the Maize and Blue to win a football game. On the day of the Paris attack, your heart was broken.
 
I know your position is just cheap pandering, like your shallow sympathy Tweets about Paris. If you had any respect for the victims of the Paris attack, you wouldn’t have jumped at the chance to score political points and try to use Paris to your party’s advantage in the 2016 election.
 

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