Michigan township votes to bar Syrian refugees

Syrian refugees arrive aboard a dinghy after crossing from Turkey to the island of Lesbos, Greece, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015.
Syrian refugees arrive aboard a dinghy after crossing from Turkey to the island of Lesbos, Greece, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015.

WATERFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — The Waterford Township board has approved a resolution to stop participating in a federal resettlement program for Syrian refugees until security issues are addressed.

The Detroit News reports the board on Monday cited congressional testimony of federal authorities that refugees from “failed states such as Syria cannot be adequately vetted to ensure that they do not have terrorist ties because the necessary records do not exist.”

The board’s action may be moot, because states cannot legally bar refugees; the federal government has jurisdiction over refugee placement. But a bill has been introduced in Congress that would allow local communities to opt out.

The township’s resolution notes the high number of refugees resettling in Michigan, saying the influx has created “significant unfunded financial burdens.”

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Information from: The Detroit News