MILWAUKEE, WI – Yesterday, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker called on President Obama to not accept refugees from the Syrian Civil War into the United States, and further stated that Wisconsin will not accept any Syrian refugees. In response, Voces de la Frontera issued the following statement:
“Thankfully, neither Governor Walker nor any of the 26 other xenophobic Republican governors and 1 Democrat who have made similar statements have any authority in deciding refugee resettlement policy for the United States,” said Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera. “Governor Walker’s statements encourage fear and violence toward refugees. He has placed himself on the same side of history as those who turned away Jewish refugees fleeing Europe and interned Japanese Americans and German Americans during World War II.
“The United States has an obligation to accept far more than more than the 10,000 Syrian refugees that President Obama had previously committed to receive. The Syrian refugees are the first victims of ISIS and it was our own US government’s illegitimate invasion of Iraq that destabilized the Middle East and contributed to the rise of ISIS. We have a responsibility to deal compassionately with the consequences of our actions.
“Our foreign policy on military intervention, on trade, and climate change is forcing people to become refugees. We need foreign policy that is not geared towards enriching multinational corporations at the expense of millions of people.
“Like his predecessors, the President Obama administration has been far too restrictive in its policies toward refugees. Last summer, while the administration was deporting Central American refugee children fleeing violence, rape, and death, the administration established with great fanfare a program at the US embassy in Guatemala to provide a way for refugee families to apply for asylum in the US. Recent news reports have revealed that, of over 5400 applicants for the program, not a single one has been granted asylum.
“Is this the best we can do?”