“I do not trust this administration to effectively vet the people who are proposed to be coming in,” the New Jersey governor and presidential hopeful said in an interview Monday with radio host Hugh Hewitt.
When asked if he would make an exception for “orphans under the age of five,” Christie said no.
That’s your governor back in November. Not exactly welcoming. Or decent. Or cognizant of the words of Emma Lazurus you can practically read from Liberty State Park. But that’s our guy; he doesn’t want to waste his government on people who need things.
Now, Christie’s decision to pull NJ out of the federal government’s refugee resettlement program, leaving that work entirely to nonprofits and charity groups, has attracted the attention of Amnesty International:
“This dangerous decision is based on nothing more than bigotry and fear-mongering. The refugee resettlement process is already extremely rigorous and safe. Everyone has the right to safe haven from persecution, and all governments have an obligation not to force refugees back into situations where they will be at risk. We have a responsibility to do more – not less – to help refugees.”
Christie’s disappointing words, lumping in small kids with dead parents in with terrorists, came after the Paris attacks. And security concerns were cited by his office as the reason: “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,” said spokesman Brian Murray. But given the fact that New Jersey pulling out state resources doesn’t mean refugees will stop settling here, it seems counterintuitive to remove a state-run level of scrutiny, if it’s really security Christie is after.
Rep. Bill Pascrell gets it about right:
“The governor’s xenophobic knee-jerk reaction is a new low. Having the state abdicate its responsibility to help resettle refugees from not just Syria, but many other places including Cuba, Ukraine and Africa, is wrong, shortsighted and an embarrassment to New Jersey.”
Won’t be Christie’s first time.