Syrian refugees: Does Delaware have a choice?

     U.S. Army veteran Jim Purcell, of Burrillville, R.I., (left), displays a placard as U.S. Navy veteran Robert Martinez, (right), displays a folded American flag during a rally Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015, at the Statehouse, in Providence, R.I., held to demonstrate against allowing Syrian refugees to enter Rhode Island following the terror attacks in Paris. (Steven Senne/AP Photo)

    U.S. Army veteran Jim Purcell, of Burrillville, R.I., (left), displays a placard as U.S. Navy veteran Robert Martinez, (right), displays a folded American flag during a rally Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015, at the Statehouse, in Providence, R.I., held to demonstrate against allowing Syrian refugees to enter Rhode Island following the terror attacks in Paris. (Steven Senne/AP Photo)

    John Watson shares his thoughts on the Syrian refugee crisis and the impact on Delaware.

    Here is John Watson’s commentary:

    In Delaware the answer to bringing in Syrian refugees, a heavy security concern, is not coming to any conclusions so far. Reports tell us that Delaware police officers are trying to determine who is and who is not a member of the Isis military, apparently making new plans after it’s successful terrorist attack in Paris.

    Tom Brackin, President of the Delaware State Troopers Association, who chairs the Northeast Regional Trooper Coalition representing officers from Maine to Delaware, issued a statement recently to back “…bipartisan efforts to ‘pause’ the federal government’s approval of Syrian immigration into the U.S.”

    Meanwhile, we are told that Delaware Governor Jack Markell continues his fight in favor of having Syrian refugees in the First State, in spite of Republicans being against it and reminding him of the Isis Paris terrorist attack that killed at least 132 people.

    I guess the Delaware governor is looking the other way, while so many other governors are ignoring federal law and refusing to allow any Syrian refugees to come to their states.

    My research shows that the federal laws aid refugees. The Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended by the Refugee Act of 1980, provides details about general refugee issues. At this point, reports tell us that 23 states are refusing to take any Syrian refugees. But they may not have much say about that, since legal scholars say governors probably have little power to stop refugees from entering their states.

    Stephen Legomskey, a professor at the Washington University School of Law in Saint Louis and former chief counsel of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Obama Administration, put it this way, “The one thing I feel very comfortable saying is, there is absolutely no Constitutional power for a state to exclude anyone from it’s territories.”

    So I guess that’s the end of “not” allowing Syrian refugees, or any other foreign refugees, into the United States of America.

    If that’s the federal law, the General Assembly in Washington is apparently wasting it’s time trying to pass another law which would, in effect, break a federal law.

    So Delaware wins. You must take all of those Syrian refugees.

    How does that make you feel to live in a state with thousands of Syrian refugees who might have a few Isis inspired suspects in the group, waiting for another chance to repeat another Paris terrorist attack?

    I for one feel just a little bit nervous about it. But on a positive note, at least our first rate security forces will be seriously checking them out all the time.

     

    John Watson is a long time observer of Wilmington and Delaware from his perch as a radio talk show host. You can write him: JohnWatson1506@comcast.net

     

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.