Nathan Deal’s stance against refugees is petty cruelty

Nathan Deal

Donald Trump’s blather about immigrants and refugees is so far just that: blather. It’s far from harmless, but he doesn’t hold public office and thus lacks the authority to implement any of his nonsense. Heaven help the United States if that changes.

On the other hand, the anti-refugee blather coming from Gov. Nathan Deal does have an impact. It has an impact on the reputation of our state as accepting, tolerant and decent. More important, it has an impact on flesh-and-blood human beings in need of help, families driven from their homes by violence in which hundreds of thousands have been killed, people desperately seeking a peaceful place to live and raise their families.

Deal insists that place cannot be Georgia. Based on no evidence whatsoever, only the fevered product of his imagination, he has announced that as governor, he will try to block the resettlement of the handful of Syrian families slated for this state, an authority granted to him by no law, state or federal. He has already ordered state officials to refuse to cooperate in any way with such resettlement, including in the distribution of federally funded assistance, again without legal authority. In short, he has made himself into a regular little George C. Wallace, bravely standing at the state border to protect us from terrorist hordes by trying to deny them food stamps, and he has ensured that petty cruelty will be part of his enduring legacy as governor.

To his credit, Attorney General Sam Olens has advised Deal that the state has no legal ability to prevent refugee resettlement here, a warning that Deal has brushed aside. A federal judge in Texas has just told state authorities there the same thing, concluding that the state “has failed to show by competent evidence that any terrorists actually have infiltrated the refugee program, much less that these particular refugees are terrorists intent on causing harm.”

It is, in short, bigotry and fear, and that is never an attractive or productive combination.

It’s also important to point out that there’s a history here.

Shortly after taking office in 2011, and long before this misbegotten mania about Syrian refugees and terrorism, Deal had attempted to shut down the flow of refugees from other parts of the world into Georgia. He complained to federal authorities that our state of 10 million people couldn’t handle an annual influx of some 2,500 refugees a year, and that we were being asked to shoulder a disproportionate share of the refugee influx. (That is not even close to being true). At one point, Deal even went so far as to block the issuance of federally funded contracts to provide English instruction, job training and other services to refugees, forcing faith-based and other resettlement organizations to lay off staff.

I have had several opportunity over the years to talk with these refugees, at length, to hear their stories and their challenges. They are not scary people. They are mothers and fathers grateful for the sanctuary that we, as Americans and Georgians, have been able to provide them. Many are survivors of more than you or I can imagine, and they are proud. Some 85 percent are off public assistance within six months of their arrival, despite the fact that their English is initially limited and whatever job skills they had in their native countries often don’t translate into our economy. We’re lucky to have them.

The idea that we’re trying to block families in dire need from settling here because of what amounts to a 0.000001 percent chance that a would-be terrorist might be hiding among them is ridiculous. Georgia is, or ought to be, better than this.

Reader Comments 0

1560 comments
BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

@SNC

Jail will be quite the experience for him. That guy had a lot of confidence that he would walk

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@StraightNoChaser

Somebody needed to give that fella some tissue to be used at both ends. It's likely he wasn't just leaking at one end.

263 years?

BOOYAH!

Kamchak
Kamchak

California man who threatened Muslim woman at knifepoint to be charged with hate crime

Officials in Chino Hills, California are pursuing hate crimes charges against a man who allegedly threatened a Muslim woman with a knife.

According to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, 40-year-old Daniel Senteno is accused of making threatening remarks to a Muslim woman while brandishing a knife at a car wash on Thursday.

Senteno reportedly followed the woman until she was able to ask a manager to contact authorities. 

Now, where in the world did Daniel Senteno get the idea this was acceptable behavior?

InTheMiddle2
InTheMiddle2

@Kamchak Cant say for sure, but maybe the muslims that just killed a bunch of folks in SB may have given him the idea. Or maybe it was the beheadings of some americans, or maybe it was from the muslims that shot up the concert hall in paris, or maybe it was the muslims that killed some cartoonists. Who knows, your guess is as good as mine.

Kamchak
Kamchak

Confederate flag-waving gun nut targets black neighbor with months-long campaign of racist harassment

A Maryland man faces possible hate crime charges after neighbors say he’s been targeting them with a nonstop campaign of harassment.

The racial harassment started as soon as a black family moved in next door to a Lake Linganore home last year and has only gotten worse, reported WTTG-TV.

[...]

The neighbor, Shaun Porter, decorates his pickup truck, panel van and motorcycle with Confederate flags, and neighbors said he brandishes military-style weapons in his front windows and threatens others.

It's not hate, it's heritage.

ByteMe
ByteMe

@Kamchak Split the difference.  It's both.  It's a heritage of hate.

SFM_Scootter
SFM_Scootter

@ByteMe @Kamchak Depending on where you stand it could be the hate of heritage which seems to be fairly strong here.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

Why would someone believe anything that Chaney and Bush have said about Iraq?  I personally know a family that lives right here in Georgia that would love to have one second in the room with Bush/Chaney.  Their son was the first casualty of war in Iraq from Georgia.  The truth is...


That Halliburton was given $39.5 billion in Iraq-related contracts over the past decade, with many of the deals given without any bidding from competing firms.  

breckenridge
breckenridge

I do have some sympathy for Cruz.  Because his old man? Total nutcase.

JamVet
JamVet

Washington (CNN)Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have solidified their positions atop the Republican presidential pack, but their success doesn't bode well for the Republican Party's chances of reclaiming the White House, according to a new poll.

Trump, who's topped GOP national surveys since July, takes a beating against Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, with the former secretary of state claiming 50% to Trump's 40%, according an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Monday.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@JamVet 
Why, it's almost like the horror of a real-life Trump Presidency is starting to sink in among the general population or something.

ByteMe
ByteMe

@DownInAlbany Troll much without reading the details below the lede?


Clinton relayed a copy of the investor's email to Thomas Nides, then a deputy secretary of state and now vice chairman at Morgan Stanley, a major New York financial services firm. "Could you have someone follow up on this request, which was forwarded to me?" Clinton asked Nides. He replied: "I'll get on it."

The emails do not show whether Clinton or other State Department officials met with Harry Siklas, the investor who contacted Mezvinsky, or with executives from the Florida-based firm. Clinton's official calendars, recently obtained by The Associated Press, also do not show any meetings between Clinton and Neptune representatives.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@FIGMO2 @StraightNoChaser @DownInAlbany  The NY times or no one else can tell me whether or not it was appropriate for Cheney's Halliburton to make $39.5 Billion on the Iraq War so I will defer from reading your post.  It was dead wrong and that can't be explained away.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@StraightNoChaser @FIGMO2 @DownInAlbany

The only thing that can be called into question is why it was a long-term contract.

Other than that? Nothing.

Purely speculation on my part, but changing contractors midstream in a difficult environment, for no other reason than to break perceived ties, wouldn't be worth the risk.

Liberals would still have asked why as you're doing now.

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

@Figmo2

What happens if you went back to school but can't find a job?

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@BuckeyeGa

Did you read the entire article? The counselors assist in job placement.

The only area where they could improve is in child-care and transportation. A child-care co-op would be beneficial.

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

@Figmo2

I read most of it. Assiting with job placement doesn't guarantee a job.. I do plan on reading the article again

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@BuckeyeGa

It's better than letting them languish, Buckeye.

What we've been doing for decades ain't working.


BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

@Figmo2

They government has taken steps to help no doubt. I'm still curious how they would handled a realistic possibility that someone is trying but still would get kicked out based on the requirements

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@BuckeyeGa

It looks to me as though allowances would be made. "E" for efforts if'n you will.

They didn't demand education AND employment. It was one or the other to start the process of consideration.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

MISSISSIPPI REPUBLICAN SWITCHES TO DEMOCRATIC PARTY, CITES TEA PARTY EXTREMISM AS REASON

"I have come to the conclusion that I no longer want to be the leader of the Mississippi Federation of College Republicans. I refuse to simply let people break the rules and think they don’t have to answer for their actions, admit they were wrong, or even apologize. When I ran for Chairman in the spring, I ran to be Chairman of the Mississippi Federation of College REPUBLICANS, not the Mississippi Federation of College “Tea Partiers”. Also, I believe that the Republican Party has allowed these groups of extremist to have too much of a voice and because of that, the platform of the Republican Party has shifted too far to the right in my opinion.  Secondly, their far right stance on immigration is not only ignorant, but it is cruel. After all our country is a nation of immigrants and should welcome immigrants from every country. My father was an immigrant from Cuba and came to America in 1959 because of the freedom that this nation offers … The Republican Party consistently says they are trying to appeal to minorities, but this will never happen when we allow members of party to say cruel and ignorant things about Women, African Americans, Hispanics, and other minorities in our country".

breckenridge
breckenridge

He shut down the government?

Nobody noticed.


In the two months following the government shutdown, in national polls the US Congress was awarded with its lowest approval rating ever, under 10%.


To say that nobody noticed is flat-out wrong.  They may have forgotten by now, but gee I wonder if the dems would remind them that Cruz engineered the shutdown? Hmm that's a tough one.

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

@Breckenridge McConnell definitely noticed.

Eye wonder
Eye wonder

@breckenridge

The counterpoint, though, is that the expected (and, admittedly in my case, hoped-for) backlash at the polls never  occurred.

ByteMe
ByteMe

@Visual_Cortex Their phone numbers and addresses published yet?  Seems like the anti-abortion people have a better plan than the anti-gun people.

breckenridge
breckenridge

Cruz has big momentum, he's hit the gas and left Trump in his Iowa dust.  Well golly gee.  I'm no political strategist, nor do I claim to be one, but I'm pretty damn worried that the terrorists are going to go after the Big Chicken and blow his metal head into tiny pieces.


But that's neither here nor there. Where was I? Oh yeah, I'm no political strategist.  However if Cruz were to win the GOP nomination, and I were a dem strategist, I'd start by eviscerating him over shutting down the government ..........." As a US Senator, Cruz had a tantrum and shut down the government.  As president, will he do the same every time he doesn't get his way? Do we really want full time chaos in the White House?"


Etc etc etc.

Eye wonder
Eye wonder

@breckenridge

Cruz appeals to evangelicals and the batshyte crazy (not always a perfectly overlapping venn diagram, lest you were wondering).

You cannot win a Presidential election with the support of just evangelicals and the batshyte crazy.

Remember, there are plenty of non-crazy Republicans and only-partially-crazy Republicans who despise Mr. Cruz as much as most everyone else who isn't an evangelical or batshyte crazy.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@Eye wonder @breckenridge  You cannot win a Presidential election with the support of just evangelicals and the batshyte crazy.


Correct. Its why we didn't have a Pres Robertson.

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

Morning Joe talked about Trump again but didnt discuss the Holdzclaw case.a policeman is a serial rapist but that is,overlooked

ByteMe
ByteMe

@BuckeyeGa Corporate TV sponsored by Starbucks has an agenda?  Really??