The largest Arab American civil rights organization in the United States is alarmed because 31 state governors have said they will refuse entry to Syrian refugees in their states, and because many Americans have expressed a desire to halt Syrian refugee immigration out of terror fears.
“The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) is deeply troubled that many American politicians have used the tragic terror attacks in Paris, France as a justification to promote xenophobia against Syrian refugees,” the group said in a statement sent to The Daily Caller.
The 31 governors who have said they will not accept Syrian refugees into their states are mostly Republican.
Outgoing Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, for example, signed an executive order to prevent Syrian refugees from settling in his state. Jindal spokesman Mike Reed told the Daily Caller News Foundation that the governor would sue the federal government, if necessary, to prevent Syrian refugees from being resettled in the state.
Other governors support Obama’s decisions to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees over the next year in addition to the ones who have already entered the country.
On Monday, as public opposition to allowing Syrian refugees into the U.S. appeared to intensify, The Washington Post reported that high-level Obama administration officials have cautioned in recent months that vetting immigrants for radicalism and political Islam sympathies is very difficult.
At least one of the Paris attackers that killed at least 129 people posed as a Syrian refugee using a fake passport, The Wall Street Journal has reported. (RELATED: Missing Syrian Refugee ‘Headed To Washington DC’)
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee remains committed to Syrian refugee immigration, however.
“ADC condemns the lack of moral fortitude of the U.S. governors who announced their opposition to accepting Syrian refugees in the wake of the tragic terrorist attacks in Paris.”
Also, “ADC urges elected officials to remember that the vast majority of Americans are the descendants of immigrants and refugees. The United States must not give in to fear or hate motivated bias by turning our back on our nation’s fundamental commitment to refugee protection and human rights.”
A refusal to accept Syrian immigrants means surrendering “to propaganda and fear mongering that has exploited the tragedy of the terrorist attacks in France to perpetuate anti-Arab sentiment, Islamophobia, and xenophobia,” the ADC further argued. “Now is precisely the time to stand up for our democracy’s core values.”
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, which bills itself as America’s largest Muslim civil rights group, is also calling Americans terrible for concerns over Syrian refugee resettlement.
“The mainstreaming of Islamophobia by a number of our nation’s political and religious leaders has encouraged the latest hate-filled actions of anti-Muslim bigots,” CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said in a statement sent to TheDC. “Now is the time for those leaders who are concerned about traditional American values of religious inclusion and tolerance to speak out against Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hate crime.”
The ADC noted that Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham and Democrat Patrick Leahy have proposed $1 billion in emergency funding for the State Department’s Migration and Refugee Assistance.
“The bill could potentially support the resettlement of 100,000 Syrian and Iraqi refugees in the next two years,” according to the ADC.