Refugee Paranoia Sweeps U.S. as House of Reps Votes to Freeze Refugee Intake

Zaid Jilani | AlterNet | November 20, 2015

Following the attacks in Paris, though none of the confirmed attackers were found to be Syrian—let alone Syrian refugees—racist paranoia has swept the United States.

The mayor of Roanoke, Virginia cited Japanese internment as a reason for rejecting Syrian refugees; the leader of Tennessee state House Republicans called for jailing refugees; Syrians are being stopped in various locations and suspected of being terrorists; and polling now shows that most Americans oppose Syrian refugee resettlement.

On Thursday afternoon that paranoia reached the U.S. House of Representatives. A bill was advanced to bar new Syrian refugees while there is some unspecified review of the refugee program, and etoNancy Pelosi refused to whip her Democratic colleagues to oppose it. Obama is opposed to this legislation, so Democratic votes matter; it can only come into effect with a veto-proof majority.

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