MANILA, Ph. – President Barack Obama announced today that he’s reached “a fair compromise” with Congress regarding the Syrian refugee crisis in Iraq and Syria. “As Americans, we have a moral obligation to help those in need,” Mr. Obama said. “Religion and race should not factor into our decision to provide humanitarian assistance to those less fortunate than us.”
“The United States will move forward with its plan to resettle a number of Syrian refugees around the country,” President Obama continued, adding, “Although there are some that find the burden of helping others far too overbearing. It is for this reason that I’ve issued an Executive Order authorizing a twenty-five percent decrease in federal funding to states that refuse to accept refugees.” Mr. Obama later said state governments could potentially avoid the penalty provided they agree to assist with the resettlement of a handful of Christian refugees.
During a press conference Thursday morning, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced he’d agreed to accept approximately 110,000 Syrian refugees over the next eighteen months on the grounds “they can be vetted as Christians.” Additionally, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder announced plans to assimilate nearly 180,000 Syrian Christians into the cities of Dearborn and Troy. Located in Wayne County, the city of Dearborn is home to Michigan’s largest Arab population. Meanwhile, those of Arab descent represent just 6% of Troy’s current population.
The Obama administration is leaving it up to individual state governments to formulate a process for determining the appropriate religion of refugees seeking assistance. Republican presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas told Fox News Thursday that he’s already spoke with Governor Abbott regarding the vetting process. “I met with Greg and his team last night via Skype,” Senator Cruz told Sean Hannity. “We’ve put together a twenty-point questionnaire to help us identify the good guys and the bad guys.” Cruz said the Texas National Guard has been instructed to work in conjunction with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to help deport any non-Christian Syrians caught illegally seeking asylum in Texas.
Former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee condemned the Obama administration for making the country “less safe” and reminded voters that “fifteen of the nineteen hijackers were refugees.” However, Mr. Huckabee said if elected, he would fully support bringing “Christian refugees from any nation” into the United States. “Despite being the most persecuted group on earth, these people don’t have a violent bone in their body,” Huckabee told Fox News, “You want to talk about a religion of peace.”