Tag: Refuse

Governors Of Michigan And Alabama Refuse To Accept Syrian “Refugees” Into Their States

Snyder Suspends Syrian Refugee Effort In Michigan – Detroit Free Press

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Gov. Rick Snyder’s decision to suspend efforts to bring Syrian refugees to Michigan in light of the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday has sparked controversy and launched the state into the national debate of how to protect U.S. citizens while providing a haven for those who desperately need help.

Snyder’s office released a statement Sunday saying the state would not be accepting any Syrian refugees until the U.S. Department of Homeland Security fully reviewed its procedures.

“Michigan is a welcoming state and we are proud of our rich history of immigration,” Snyder said in the statement. “But our first priority is protecting the safety of our residents.”

More than 120 people were killed in Paris on Friday night, and hundreds more injured, in a series of suicide bombings and attacks that officials say were orchestrated by the Islamic State, a terrorist group with a stronghold in Syria. News agencies have reported that a Syrian passport found at the scene of one of the attacks matches a refugee who traveled through Greece. Now in its fifth year, the war in Syria has devastated the country, sending millions of people abroad in search of a new life.

Snyder’s announcement Sunday is a step backward from recent efforts and comments from his administration offering to aid refugees. In September, Snyder said he was working with the federal government to determine the process for accepting refugees from the ongoing crisis in Syria and the Middle East.

“Isn’t that part of being a good Michigander?” he asked at the time, while stressing that the refugees would have to be carefully screened to assure they were not security threats.

His reversal drew immediate and divisive reactions across the nation on Sunday, but especially in metro Detroit, home to one of the largest Middle Eastern populations in the nation.

“Good decision,” state Rep. Tim Kelly, R-Saginaw Township, posted on his Facebook page.

“We expect more from you,” and “this sends the wrong message,” Rashida Tlaib, a former state representative from southwest Detroit, countered on her Twitter account.

Local Arab-American leaders and refugee advocates said Sunday they understand the governor’s concern about security, but argued the Department of Homeland Security already does extensive security checks before allowing any refugees into the U.S.

“The United States should be a safe haven,” said Dr. Yahya Basha, a Syrian-American advocate from West Bloomfield who has family members who are refugees. He was at the White House recently to discuss the Syrian refugee crisis with U.S. officials: “We should welcome them.”

Basha said he doesn’t mind the scrutiny before allowing refugees in but doesn’t think their arrival should be prevented.

Maged Moughni, a Dearborn attorney and Arab-American advocate, agreed, saying “it’s uncalled for… I think it’s really unfair.”

“It’s doing what ISIS wants… He’s just basically buying into what ISIS wants: Muslims against the West… Gov. Snyder is buying into the rhetoric.”

“I can understand being cautious, but to suspend it is wrong,” Moughni said.

A spokesman for the Michigan and Ohio branch of the Department of Homeland Security referred questions about Snyder’s move to the national office, which did not return an e-mail seeking comment late Sunday.

Sean de Four, vice president of child and family services with Lutheran Social Services of Michigan, said the U.S. has a moral obligation to help with what he called “a humanitarian crisis the world has not seen since World War II.”

The agency has helped resettle about 1,800 to 2,000 refugees in Michigan over the past year; about 200 of them are from Syria and many others are from Iraq, another war-torn country.

“I certainly understand and appreciate Gov. Snyder’s desire to be cautious and put the safety of Michiganders first,” de Four said. But “the State Department already uses an overabundance of caution in its screening of refugees before they gained entry into the United States. In fact, refugees spend an average of five to seven years in refugee camps being screened and background checks before access to any country.”

More Syrian refugees were expected in coming months, but Snyder’s decision could bring an end to that.

“He could make it very difficult, next to impossible for refugees to come here,” de Four said, pointing out that two-thirds of Syrian refugees are women and children. “It’s really unfortunate.”

Snyder has been known for his pro-immigrant views, in contrast to strong anti-immigrant sentiment heard on the national level in the Republican Party during the presidential race.

Two weeks ago, Snyder visited Hamtramck, which has the highest percentage of immigrants among all cities in the state, telling a crowd of Bangladeshi Americans: “I believe I’m the most pro-immigration governor in the country.”

Amid criticism from some conservatives over city voters electing a Muslim-majority city council, Snyder praised the city.

Then came Friday’s attack, prompting state Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Midland, to issue a statement Saturday night calling on Snyder to “reverse his call to relocate Syrian refugees in the state.”

“We should not rush to offer an open door to the high-risk importation of individuals from a known hotbed of Islamic extremism,” Glenn said, disputing assertions that the refugees can be safely vetted.

Snyder decided to halt the refugee program on Saturday, after consultation with legislative leaders, prior to Glenn’s statement, spokesman Dave Murray said.

It’s true that earlier efforts to bring Syrian refugees to Michigan “were contingent on proper security vetting, which is an extensive process that takes up to a year or more,” Murray said.

However, “in light of the terrible situation in Paris, Gov. Snyder has asked that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security complete a full review of those security procedures and clearances.”

Asked whether Syrian refugees who have been through the current vetting process and want to settle in Michigan should be prevented from doing so, Murray said he’s not aware of any refugees who fit those criteria, but would check.

On Sunday, U.S. Rep. Candice Miller, R-Harrison Township, issued a statement applauding Snyder: “I support Governor Snyder’s decision to suspend efforts to relocate Syrian refugees to Michigan, and have cautioned against the Administration’s decision to increase the number being admitted into the U.S…. The fact is, as evidenced by Friday’s horrific attack in Paris, terrorist organizations like ISIS are looking for any and every opportunity to exploit a nation’s hospitality to carry out their barbaric attacks against the innocent. Anyone who says we can adequately and safely vet these refugees is wrong because there is no database in Syria and no way to identify who’s who.”

“America has a long, proud history of helping refugees from across the globe, and we will continue to help. However, in doing so, we must make certain that we are not jeopardizing the safety of our citizens.”

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Alabama Governor: Syrian Refugees Can’t Come To Alabama – Weekly Standard

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Alabama governor Robert Bentley is refusing to allow Syrian refugees to relocate to Alabama.

“After full consideration of this weekend’s attacks of terror on innocent citizens in Paris, I will oppose any attempt to relocate Syrian refugees to Alabama through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. As your Governor, I will not stand complicit to a policy that places the citizens of Alabama in harm’s way,” Governor Bentley says in a statement released by his office.

“The acts of terror committed over the weekend are a tragic reminder to the world that evil exists and takes the form of terrorists who seek to destroy the basic freedoms we will always fight to preserve. I will not place Alabamians at even the slightest, possible risk of an attack on our people. Please continue to join me in praying for those who have suffered loss and for those who will never allow freedom to fade at the hands of terrorists.”

The office of the governor of Alabama says that no Syrian refugees have come through Alabama and that there are no current threats to the state.

“The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is working diligently with the FBI, DHS and federal intelligence partners to monitor any possible threats. Law enforcement presence has been increased at major gathering events in Alabama to further insure the safety of citizens. To date, there has been no credible intelligence of any terrorist threats in Alabama,” reads a statement from the governor’s office.

“Alabama currently has one U.S. State Department approved refugee processing center in Mobile. There have been no Syrian refugees relocated in Alabama to date, though neighboring states have processed a number of refugees.”

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Feds Refuse To Name Official Who Misused Government Computers, Tampered With Evidence And Threatened A Witness

Watchdog: Senior Official Let Household Watch Porn On 7 Government-Owned Computers – Daily Caller

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An unnamed high-ranking Department of Commerce official kept at least seven government-issued computers at her home where somebody used the equipment for months to view pornography and web sites featuring racial slurs.

Then, when the department’s Office of Inspector General began investigating, she tampered with evidence and proposed disciplining an employee who cooperated with the investigation, according to a new OIG report.

Federal taxpayers also funded her “wasteful foreign travel,” and a full eight-hour workday when she only worked about 20 minutes.

“The investigation revealed a troubling pattern of conduct that was abusive of government resources and evidenced a disregard for conservation of such resources, as well as misconduct by senior official in response to the OIG’s investigation,” the report said.

The IG refused to identify the individual’s name or position, or clarify who viewed and downloaded pornography and racial slurs.

“Our report speaks for itself,” said spokesman Clark Reid, citing privacy concerns for not disclosing the senior executive’s name or title. A department spokesman declined to comment.

The senior-level official kept two desktop computers, three laptops and two iPads at her home for at least six months and allowed members of her household access, “which resulted in inappropriate use of such equipment to view and/or store pornographic, sexually suggestive, and racially offensive materials,” the report said.

She also inappropriately booked a flight abroad, “permitting her to seek reimbursement from the government for the expenses associated with her own personal, non-official travel plans.” Investigators calculated that cost taxpayers about $1,365.

Investigators also found “numerous” discrepancies in her attendance record, including a day when she claimed she worked an eight-hour day via telework, but evidence suggests she worked about 20 minutes.

What happened next created more work for federal investigators.

“This included evidence that the senior official failed to comply with a preservation order issued by the OIG, which resulted in impeding the OIG’s access to information and materials relevant to its investigation, as well as credible evidence that the senior official’s belief that one of her subordinates cooperated with the OIG’s investigation was a significant factor in senior official’s proposal to take disciplinary action against the subordinate,” the report said.

“This evidence is deeply troubling to the OIG as it calls into question Senior Official’s compliance with her obligations as a government employee.”

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Over 214,000 Doctors Refuse To Participate In Obamacare

Over 214,000 Doctors To Withdraw From Obamacare – Western Journalism

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More than 214,000 doctors will not participate in new plans under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).

According to a survey conducted this year by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), a trade association comprised of multi-physician medical practices, “as many as 214,524 American physicians will not be participating in any ACA exchange products.” Reasons abound as to why, but, “chief among them is the fact that exchange plans are more likely to offer significantly lower reimbursement rates than private market plans, confusion among consumers about the obligations associated with high deductibles, and fear that patients will stop paying premiums and providers will be unable to recover their losses”

This is a staggering number, considering the Kaiser Family Foundation reported there are 893,851 active physicians working in the United States.

A CBS News poll of 1,269 adults conducted October 23-27 found that 55 percent disapprove of the ACA, while only 36 percent support it.

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Sheriffs Refuse To Enforce Unconstitutional Gun Control Laws

Sheriffs Refuse To Enforce Laws On Gun Control – New York Times

When Sheriff John Cooke of Weld County explains in speeches why he is not enforcing the state’s new gun laws, he holds up two 30-round magazines. One, he says, he had before July 1, when the law banning the possession, sale or transfer of the large-capacity magazines went into effect. The other, he “maybe” obtained afterward.

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He shuffles the magazines, which look identical, and then challenges the audience to tell the difference.

“How is a deputy or an officer supposed to know which is which?” he asks.

Colorado’s package of gun laws, enacted this year after mass shootings in Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn., has been hailed as a victory by advocates of gun control. But if Sheriff Cooke and a majority of the other county sheriffs in Colorado offer any indication, the new laws – which mandate background checks for private gun transfers and outlaw magazines over 15 rounds – may prove nearly irrelevant across much of the state’s rural regions.

Some sheriffs, like Sheriff Cooke, are refusing to enforce the laws, saying that they are too vague and violate Second Amendment rights. Many more say that enforcement will be “a very low priority,” as several sheriffs put it. All but seven of the 62 elected sheriffs in Colorado signed on in May to a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the statutes.

The resistance of sheriffs in Colorado is playing out in other states, raising questions about whether tougher rules passed since Newtown will have a muted effect in parts of the American heartland, where gun ownership is common and grass-roots opposition to tighter restrictions is high.

In New York State, where Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed one of the toughest gun law packages in the nation last January, two sheriffs have said publicly they would not enforce the laws – inaction that Mr. Cuomo said would set “a dangerous and frightening precedent.” The sheriffs’ refusal is unlikely to have much effect in the state: According to the state’s Division of Criminal Justice Services, since 2010 sheriffs have filed less than 2 percent of the two most common felony gun charges. The vast majority of charges are filed by the state or local police.

In Liberty County, Fla., a jury in October acquitted a sheriff who had been suspended and charged with misconduct after he released a man arrested by a deputy on charges of carrying a concealed firearm. The sheriff, who was immediately reinstated by the governor, said he was protecting the man’s Second Amendment rights.

And in California, a delegation of sheriffs met with Gov. Jerry Brown this fall to try to persuade him to veto gun bills passed by the Legislature, including measures banning semiautomatic rifles with detachable magazines and lead ammunition for hunting (Mr. Brown signed the ammunition bill but vetoed the bill outlawing the rifles).

“Our way of life means nothing to these politicians, and our interests are not being promoted in the legislative halls of Sacramento or Washington, D.C.,” said Jon E. Lopey, the sheriff of Siskiyou County, Calif., one of those who met with Governor Brown. He said enforcing gun laws was not a priority for him, and he added that residents of his rural region near the Oregon border are equally frustrated by regulations imposed by the federal Forest Service and the Environmental Protection Agency.

This year, the new gun laws in Colorado have become political flash points. Two state senators who supported the legislation were recalled in elections in September; a third resigned last month rather than face a recall. Efforts to repeal the statutes are already in the works.

Countering the elected sheriffs are some police chiefs, especially in urban areas, and state officials who say that the laws are not only enforceable but that they are already having an effect. Most gun stores have stopped selling the high-capacity magazines for personal use, although one sheriff acknowledged that some stores continued to sell them illegally. Some people who are selling or otherwise transferring guns privately are seeking background checks.

Eric Brown, a spokesman for Gov. John W. Hickenlooper of Colorado, said, “Particularly on background checks, the numbers show the law is working.” The Colorado Bureau of Investigation has run 3,445 checks on private sales since the law went into effect, he said, and has denied gun sales to 70 people.

A Federal District Court judge last month ruled against a claim in the sheriffs’ lawsuit that one part of the magazine law was unconstitutionally vague. The judge also ruled that while the sheriffs could sue as individuals, they had no standing to sue in their official capacity.

Still, the state’s top law enforcement officials acknowledged that sheriffs had wide discretion in enforcing state laws.

“We’re not in the position of telling sheriffs and chiefs what to do or not to do,” said Lance Clem, a spokesman for the Colorado Department of Public Safety. “We have people calling us all the time, thinking they’ve got an issue with their sheriff, and we tell them we don’t have the authority to intervene.”

Sheriffs who refuse to enforce gun laws around the country are in the minority, though no statistics exist. In Colorado, though, sheriffs like Joe Pelle of Boulder County, who support the laws and have more liberal constituencies that back them, are outnumbered.

“A lot of sheriffs are claiming the Constitution, saying that they’re not going to enforce this because they personally believe it violates the Second Amendment,” Sheriff Pelle said. “But that stance in and of itself violates the Constitution.”

Even Sheriff W. Pete Palmer of Chaffee County, one of the seven sheriffs who declined to join the federal lawsuit because he felt duty-bound to carry out the laws, said he was unlikely to aggressively enforce them. He said enforcement poses “huge practical difficulties,” and besides, he has neither the resources nor the pressure from his constituents to make active enforcement a high priority. Violations of the laws are misdemeanors.

“All law enforcement agencies consider the community standards – what is it that our community wishes us to focus on – and I can tell you our community is not worried one whit about background checks or high-capacity magazines,” he said.

At their extreme, the views of sheriffs who refuse to enforce gun laws echo the stand of Richard Mack, a former Arizona sheriff and the author of “The County Sheriff: America’s Last Hope.” Mr. Mack has argued that county sheriffs are the ultimate arbiters of what is constitutional and what is not. The Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, founded by Mr. Mack, is an organization of sheriffs and other officers who support his views.

“The Supreme Court does not run my office,” Mr. Mack said in an interview. “Just because they allow something doesn’t mean that a good constitutional sheriff is going to do it.” He said that 250 sheriffs from around the country attended the association’s recent convention.

Matthew J. Parlow, a law professor at Marquette University, said that some states, including New York, had laws that allowed the governor in some circumstances to investigate and remove public officials who engaged in egregious misconduct – laws that in theory might allow the removal of sheriffs who failed to enforce state statutes.

But, he said, many governors could be reluctant to use such powers. And in most cases, any penalty for a sheriff who chose not to enforce state law would have to come from voters.

Sheriff Cooke, for his part, said that he was entitled to use discretion in enforcement, especially when he believed the laws were wrong or unenforceable.

“In my oath it says I’ll uphold the U.S. Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Colorado,” he said, as he posed for campaign photos in his office – he is running for the State Senate in 2014. “It doesn’t say I have to uphold every law passed by the Legislature.”

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Number Of Firearm Makers Who Refuse To Sell Their Products To Gun-Grabbing Government Assclowns Triples In Two Weeks

Number Of U.S. Gun Makers Refusing Sales To Gov’t In ‘Firearms Equality Movement’ Triples In Two Weeks – CNS

On February 22, “Right Views” reported that a growing number of firearm companies have suspended the sale of guns to states, counties, cities and municipalities that restrict their citizens’ rights to own them.

In just two weeks, the number of companies participating in what has been named the “Firearms Equality Movement,” has more than tripled from 34 companies to 118.

The Police Loophole lists every company and links to the statements that each has released regarding their new policies.

Wilson Combat, a custom pistol manufacturer located in Berryville, Arkansas, joined the movement on February 28 stating the following:

“Wilson Combat will no longer provide any products or services to any State Government imposing legislation that infringes on the second amendment rights of its law abiding citizens. This includes any Law Enforcement Department, Law Enforcement Officers, or any State Government Entity or Employee of such an entity. This also applies to any local municipality imposing such infringements.”

Wilson lists the states included on its no sale policy as: California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Washington D.C. and The City of Chicago, Illinois.

The statement also reads:

“Wilson Combat will in NO way support the government of these states or their anti-gun agenda that only limits the rights of law-abiding citizens. Wilson Combat will continue to supply any product and/or service they can legally sell in these states to all non-government affiliated citizens.”

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