Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings spoke out against Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s order to state agencies not to participate in Syrian refugee resettlement programs of the federal government. Abbott issued an order last week stopping Texas’ participation and he urged the White House to stop its programs.
“I am more fearful of large gatherings of white men that come into schools, theaters and shoot people up, but we don’t isolate young white men on this issue,” Rawlings told MSNBC during a Sunday interview.
Rawlings has joined with other liberal mayors in welcoming refugees. His move comes in direct opposition to Abbott’s letter to the Obama Administration and Texas agencies. Rawlings told MSNBC he shares Abbotts concerns for the safety of Texans, but he downplayed the risk of refugees.
“The safety of Dallasities is paramount in his mind and my mind as well,” Rawlings said. “We want to get rid of ISIS. We all agree with that. ISIS wants us to be divided on this issue. ISIS wants us to demonize these refugees, wants us to alienate these children.”
Rawlings statements seem to ignore ISIS direct claims that they will infiltrate the Syrian refugee population, as reported by Breitbart National Security writer Edwin Mora. One of the ten preliminary findings of the Department of Homeland Security’s Syrian Refugee Flows: Security Risks and Counterterrorism Challenges is that “Islamist terrorists are determined to infiltrate refugee flows to enter the West—and appear to already have done so in Europe.”
Officials warned that ISIS was deliberately targeting these [refugee flow] routes,” and that “warnings have been mounting that ISIS is focused on deploying operatives to the West, especially Europe,” Mora wrote.
Shortly after Abbott sent his letter to the White House, Mayor Rawlings took to the bully pulpit in Dallas and said, “I would participate in any organized, thoroughly vetted program that the country asks Dallas to participate in to make sure people were resettled that were fleeing ISIS and fleeing the terror that is there,” according to the Dallas Morning News.
Rawlings appears to be willing to risk the lives of Dallas residents based upon a screening process that Obama Administration officials have said is flawed and is basically taking the Syrian’s word for the accuracy of the information they provide in their application.
During the House Homeland Security Committee hearing on Syrian refugees in October, Representative Lamar Smith asked about the vetting process and noted that terrorist organizations would most likely have individuals come into the country who have not yet committed a crime or had “a public background,” or committed a terrorist act, Breitbart Texas’ Lana Shadwick reported.
DHS Secretary Johnson answered the vetting question by saying that every alleged refugee is interviewed, and that they complete an application. Smith responded saying that you are then essentially relying upon the refugee who is filling out the application, and “you can’t go beyond that, so you are sorta having to take their word for it.”
The Dallas Morning News said that Rawlings cavalier attitude towards the Syrian refugees “may be unsurprising from a mayor who offered to quarantine the family of Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan in his son’s house.”
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and is a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.