Michigan town passes resolution to block Syrian refugees

by WorldTribune Staff, October 26, 2016

Waterford Township in Michigan has told the federal government it will not resettle any Syrian refugees within the township’s borders.

The town’s trustees unanimously (7-0) passed a resolution on Oct. 24 saying the township would not take in any refugees until the government’s Refugee Resettlement Program was reformed.

Waterford Township trustees discuss refugee resettlement on Oct. 24. /WXYZ
Waterford Township trustees discuss refugee resettlement on Oct. 24. / WXYZ

“We’ve got so many people who need jobs in Waterford, what are you gonna do with the refugees that come in here? You’re gonna feed them, you’re gonna clothe them, you’re gonna house them. We can’t afford that; we’ve got veterans that need help,” one Waterford Township resident present at the Oct. 24 meeting told WWJ television.

The resolution stated: “[T]he Charter Township of Waterford will not actively participate in the Refugee Resettlement Program until the Program has been significantly reformed, and until it has been demonstrated that the Townships of Oakland County have the capacity to absorb refugees without diverting funds from needy residents or exposing their residents to unwarranted security risks.”

Waterford Township, population 72,000, is located in the geographic center of Oakland County, population 1.2 million, which is a suburban Detroit county.

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson has said he intends to sue the federal government for resettling refugees in the county while failing to comply with the “consultation clause” of the Refugee Act of 1980 that requires the federal government and the director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement to consult with state and local government officials prior to the placement of refugees within their jurisdictions.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has vowed to increase the number of Syrian refugees admitted into the United States by 550 percent.