By Phil Kent –
Gov. Nathan Deal, in anticipation of the Obama administration welcoming into the United States an as-yet-unknown number of fleeing Syrian Muslims, again says that refugee numbers must not increase in the Peach State. Last year the U.S. State Department, which coordinates with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees, limited the number of refugees coming to Georgia due to the governor’s objections and bipartisan concern from DeKalb County state lawmakers where refugees are resettled.
Furthermore, U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul just this week said that latest intent of the administration to bring in thousands of Syrians will become a “federally funded jihadi pipeline” for radicals bent on violence. Assistant FBI Director Michael Steinbach further warns “there is a lack of information” when it comes to trying to vet Syrians for entry.
The number of refugees who have been resettling in Georgia dropped by less than 1 percent over the past two fiscal years, from 2,710 to 2,694, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Many refugees end up settling in cities like Clarkston, which already boasts a large concentration of newcomers,” the newspaper reports, and it says that Deal has “long fielded complaints from local officials about their areas being strained by refugee populations.” That’s why the governor on Tuesday called on the Obama administration to “tighten” its relocation and vetting policies.
“When they decide where they bring in individuals,” Deal said, “they need to do a better job of making sure they haven’t put an over-concentration of people from different countries, some of whom have been natural enemies of each other. Trying to put them side-by-side in a small community like Clarkston is not doing a service to those individuals.”