Syrian refugees have become the scapegoats for much of Americans’ anxieties about terrorism, despite the fact that they are rigorously vetted. In fact, experts—including former national security advisors, CIA directors, and secretaries of state, defense, and homeland security from both Republican and Democratic administrations—attest that resettling Syrian refugees benefits U.S. national security interests. It helps stabilize our allies in the region and demonstrates resolve to address the crisis.
Nonetheless many state governors, including Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R), have expressed opposition to resettling refugees in their states. New Jersey and Kansas governors have even taken steps to impede cooperation from state agencies.
But Maryland officials are taking a stand against the fearmongering and speaking up on behalf of refugees. This week 76 state legislators sent a letter to Governor Hogan urging him to welcome refugees in their state. Over the last four months, there has also been an outpouring of public support for refugee resettlement from many Maryland county governments and local officials.
Hopefully other states will follow suit and start seeing refugees as an asset rather than a threat.