Jerry Brown Reverses 1975 Position on Refugees

The San Francisco Chronicle, in an attack on those fearful that an influx of Syrian refugees might include potential terrorists, has pointed out that Governor Jerry Brown, now an advocate for accepting the refugees, opposed the influx of Vietnamese refugees in 1975.

As the Washington Post reported, Julia Vadala Taft, head of the interagency task force for refugee resettlement in 1975, was quoted in Larry Engelmann’s Tears Before the Rain: An Oral History of the Fall of South Vietnam, saying:

The new governor of California, Jerry Brown, was very concerned about refugees settling in his state. Brown even attempted to prevent planes carrying refugees from landing at Travis Air Force Base near Sacramento…..The secretary of health and welfare, Mario Obledo, felt that this addition of a large minority group would be unwelcome in California. And he said that they already had a large population of Hispanics, Filipinos, blacks, and other minorities.

Taft doubled down in 2007, telling National Public Radio, “They were very difficult. They didn’t want any of these refugees, because they had also unemployment. They had already a large number of foreign-born people there. They had–they said they had too many Hispanics, too many people on welfare, they didn’t want these people.”

Larry Clinton Thompson’s Refugee Workers in the Indochina Exodus, 1975-1982 quoted Brown stating in 1975, “We can’t be looking 5,000 miles away and at the same time neglecting people who live here.”

Brown has always had his finger to the political wind, so it’s unsurprising that he would embrace current political correctness.

The Chronicle piece is just this side of a hysterical tantrum:

While early reports said a Syrian passport was found near the body of one of the attackers, now top European Union officials say all of the terrorists were European Union citizens. But that bit of evidence hasn’t stopped the knee-jerk xenophobia. America fancies itself as a nation of immigrants, but when it comes to refugees, we are a nation of NIMBYs…Forget what is written on the Statue of Liberty.

Citing Americans’ traditional wariness of accepting foreign refugees, the Chronicle resorts to a partisan attack: “The only difference now is that that those feelings are largely divided along partisan lines; nearly all of the governors who want to keep Syrian refugees out are Republicans, as are most of those in Congress.”

The Chronicle snipes, “It’s easy to see why politicians pander.”

The Chronicle also criticizes those in Europe responding to the Paris attacks by calling for a halt in immigration, writing, “A unified Europe is close to unraveling after the deaths in France’s capital. The Paris killings will disrupt an overdue effort to handle a surge of migrants, but the task must still be faced.”


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