New Jersey is the latest of 14 states that have withdrawn from Obama’s refugee resettlement program. Meanwhile, the White House is scrambling to prove that it can continue to resettle refugees in these states without their governors’ approval.
Governor Sam Brownback announced last month that Kansas would also be withdrawing from the program. States refusing to participate include: Alabama, Colorado, Alaska, Idaho, Louisiana, Kentucky, Nevada, Massachusetts, South Dakota, North Dakota, Vermont, and Tennessee.
“Federal officials held a conference call Friday morning [April 22], with representative of nonprofit groups who help refugees resettle in New Jersey, a process that will no longer have the participation of Governor Chris Christie’s administration,” reported New Jersey 101.5.
The feds continue to operate the refugee program by way of voluntary agencies (VOLAGs) in 12 of the 14 states that are refusing to participate. These agencies fall under regulations as outlined by the Department of Health and Human Services’ “Wilson-Fish alternative program.” Tennessee is in the process of suing the federal government on 10th Amendment grounds to put a stop to resettlement under this program.
Back in November, in the midst of his presidential campaign, Governor Christie was quoted as saying the US should not accept any Syrian refugees, not even “orphans under age 5.” His letter to the Obama Administration on April 7th makes the decision final for the state of New Jersey.
“The governor has consistently stated his opposition to the resettlement program in the absence of proper security vetting, safeguards, and assurances being offered by the federal government,” explained a Christie spokesperson.
We were already concerned about the potential of terrorists creeping into the US by way of the resettlement program when President Obama decided to slash the vetting process for Syrian refugees from 2 years to just 3 months. This decision has received considerable backlash, as evinced by Kansas’ and New Jersey’s decision to withdraw from the program.
Governor Christie has seen more than 120 Syrians arrive in New Jersey between last October and March of this year. Between October 2013 and September 2015, there were 81.