Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Welcome! I hope you packed a sweater...

Look out Upstate New York fans, my hometown is in the news! Rochester's mayor Lovely Warren announced in a kind of weird phone/skype interview with the Huffington Post that the city would welcome Syrian refugees saying that "Rochester has long been and continues to be a haven for immigrants and refugees from every corner of the world." Awesome, right?
'Come on over, we'll get some pop and order Pontillo's.' 
-Mayor Warren offering the 
traditional welcome of my people
"Hey, this is America. If you want firearms
and explosives, you'll just have to buy
them at a gunshow like everybody else."
Yes, especially since we, as a nation, are kind of being huge dicks about this whole refugee thing. Twenty-six Governors have announced that their states will not accept refugees from Syria at all and five more are insisting on additional screening before admitting anyone. They're concerned that terrorists might use the crisis to slip in to the U.S. and ok, it's not an unreasonable fear, but we banned tweezers on planes for like ten years after 9-11. We're fairly paranoid and have a thorough screening process in place already. It's not like we just ask at the airport if anyone is carrying a bomb.

Anyway, the whole thing is weird because that's not a thing they can do, refuse refugees that is. That's more of a State Department thing, but states can drag their feet and make the process a pain in the ass, something state governments are really good at.
Remember when Superman threw his 'S' at Bull from Nightcourt in Superman II? Well, it's kind of
like that, in that barring people from settling in their states is not a power Governors have either.
Of course, I'm pretty sure mayor Warren's statement doesn't actually carry any legal weight either, but still it's way the hell more neighborly than say mayor David Bowers of Roanoke, VA who, for some reason, brought up how we threw Japanese Americans into internment camps during World War II:

Well, he got FDR right, but the rest
of what he said is pretty much bullshit.
"I'm reminded that President Franklin D. Roosevelt felt compelled to sequester Japanese foreign nationals after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and it appears that threat of harm to America from ISIS now is just as real and serious as that from our enemies then."

-Mayor David Bowers being 
wrong on a number of points

Pictured: the equally relevant
Defenestrations of Prague,
So, I'm unclear on a few points. Like, why does this remind him of Japanese Internment? It doesn't seem super-relevant. And didn't we lock up American citizens and not foreign nationals? Also, isn't the internment of Japanese Americans during the war seen now as a racist, pointless and embarrassing measure for which the government ultimately apologized? When he compares the threat of ISIS sneaking in with refugees to the danger posed by Japanese Americans in the 40's, maybe he's being ironic?

Anyway, legally binding or not, it's pretty great that Rochester's mayor is welcoming the refugees. America is supposed to be about inclusion and the great melting pot and-holy shit, Syria's in the middle east, someone did warn them about the winters in Rochester, right? Oh God, the winters...
Seriously, maybe give them a parka at orientation.

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