LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Relocating refugees to Delaware is ill-advised

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is an open letter to Gov. Jack Markell:

In a unified and sincere concern for the safety and economic health of Delaware’s families, we urge you to reconsider your position to relocate “Syrian refugees” into Delaware communities. We ask that you join the 30 other state governors in placing the safety and reasonable concern of your constituents above any other consideration or agenda.

We all share your compassion for those who are suffering and want those who truly need refuge to get it. Like you, we recognize that true Syrian refugees need a safe harbor. That safe harbor is best found in Middle Eastern countries near their homeland beyond the reach of the present violence. The first and most immediate safe place in the region meets their need for safety. Their need is not taxpayer-supplied housing and EBT cards in Dover, Newark or Seaford, in a culture completely foreign to their Islamic world view, and 6,000 miles from their known way of life.

We know from the recent European experience that “Syrian refugees” comprise people from a dozen or so countries from Morocco to Afghanistan. Claims in Washington of a robust vetting procedure prior to entry to the United States are not credible. The FBI has reportedly said it is impossible to vet that many people before they come into our country. Rep. Carney and Sen. Coons have both expressed their concerns in light of this information.

We are equally concerned that your support for President Obama’s planned action reflects a disconnect from those you serve in Delaware. Delaware families are being profoundly impacted by limited resources, including a lack of care for our veterans, also a concern of yours.

Heroin use is at an epidemic level in our state and destroying families and communities daily. Wilmington continues to suffer from uncontrolled crime, and there is a growing racial discontent. We still face inequalities and deficiencies in our state’s education system that may likely place added burdens on the state’s budget. The people of Delaware just cannot afford the cost, financial and otherwise, of your plan to add to those needing assistance in our state.

You will recall the Tsarnaev family, taken in by the state of Massachusetts under condition of asylum. The cost to the taxpayer of their direct and indirect benefits exceeded $1 million. No one in that family ever became self-sufficient or safely acclimated in the U.S.

As you know, the two sons of that family killed three innocent people with a homemade bomb at the Boston Marathon. Over 200 other innocent people were seriously wounded in the blast. After years in this country, they acted with deadly violence as they believed their faith dictates.

Finally, the Tsarnaev family was fully and completely vetted by our federal immigration authorities as applicants for asylum.

Ultimately, this “compassionate gesture” is estimated to cost the state over $100 million. This cost extended beyond the social benefits taken by the family. It ultimately included police operations and manhunt, emergency care for the survivors, hospitalization of the wounded, reconstructive surgery, rehabilitation and prostheses needs, business disruption, criminal investigation, state prosecution and public-defender costs, and forward-projected prison costs — all paid by Massachusetts taxpayers.

We are faced with new and uncertain dangers that can only increase as we neglect to control those who gain access to our country. We ask that you block state funding of any sort that would be needed and allocated to resettle this population in Delaware. Importing persons from a vastly different culture and trying to integrate them is exorbitantly expensive, and the unpredictable results can be devastating.

Our groups collectively represent many thousands of Delawareans who are passionate, engaged, and aware of the realities of recent events in this world conducted by a few Islamic radicals. As governor, your heaviest burden and first concern must be for the safety and common wellbeing of the people in Delaware.

We ask that you recognize the proven risk associated with similar relocation programs. We further request that you use your authority, in the best interest and public safety of Delaware families and communities, to obstruct President Obama’s ill-considered relocation plan.

912 Delaware Patriots,
Karen Gritton, Executive Director

Faith and Freedom
Coalition Delaware

Central Delaware NAACP

The Rev. Dr. Shawn Greener

Frederick Douglass Foundation of Delaware — Sussex County

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