If there’s one thing that’s become abundantly clear in the six days since ISIS operatives turned the streets of Paris into a warzone and massacred dozens of concertgoers at the Bataclan, it’s that when it comes to lawmakers’ support for the sheltering of Syrian refugees, murdering Westerners on camera is one thing, but staging an all-out assault on civilians in the French capital is entirely another.
As of Thursday, more than half of US state governors have come out against the Obama administration’s plan to resettle 10,000 Syrian asylum seekers in the US and a recent poll suggests that some 53% of Americans oppose the plan as well.
You can expect the backlash to grow with each new ISIS propaganda clip threatening attacks on US soil. There have been two this week alone, with the first containing an explicit threat against Washington DC and the second a veiled threat against New York. How credible those threats are we have no idea (ask Langley), but both of the videos were plastered all over the mainstream US media which probably drove a metaphorical stake through the heart of Obama’s refugee plan.
While it’s true that states can’t physically prevent refugees from being relocated within their borders, House Speaker Paul Ryan is moving to stop the resettlement plan in its tracks and you can bet that GOP governors will do everything in their power to make the relocation process as difficult as possible for the federal government and that resistance could well be contagious, creating ill-will towards refugees.
However, in a world where hostility towards Syrian migrants is growing by the day, there’s one city that wants asylum seekers to know that they are welcome: Baltimore.
Here’s a statement out earlier this week from Mayor Stephanie-Rawlings Blake:
Baltimore, Maryland and the United States have proud traditions of welcoming refugees seeking assistance from crises around the world. There are few among us who can claim that their ancestors were indigenous to the United States. Welcoming immigrants and New Americans is a critical part of my strategy to grow Baltimore, and I hope that refugees from Syria will look to our city as a potential place to call home.
So there you go Syrian refugees, there's hope for you in America after all.
That said, we do encourage you to scope out the neighborhood before deciding that Baltimore is the place you want "to call home," because depending on where you are in the city and what the current state of race relations happens to be, you might wonder why you ever left the Middle East...