A group favoring open-borders and mass immigration boasts on its website how it has the support of Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) to push for more refugee resettlements in Ohio cities.
Brown’s response shows he is in favor of 110,000 refugees being allowed to enter the U.S. in a single year. Under the Trump administration, only about 22,000 will be allowed in the current fiscal year, which ends Oct. 1.
The Cincinnati Area Returned Volunteers, or CARV, which consists of former Peace Corps volunteers with a strong interest in increasing refugee resettlement in Ohio, contacted Brown and other members of the U.S. House and Senate earlier this year and asked about their support for refugee resettlement in Ohio.
CARV member Ron Ison asked the lawmakers to help thwart President Trump’s agenda of scaling back on refugee arrivals from dangerous parts of the world such as Syria, Iraq, Sudan and Somalia.
Of all the members of Congress that Ison contacted, he apparently received the most enthusiastic letter of support from Brown.
Under the title “Sherrod Brown’s Support for Refugees” the website states:
CARV member, Ron Ison (Togo ’84 -’87) contacted local members of Congress and Senators to share his first-hand experiences over decades with refugees and immigrants in the Cincinnati area. Ron truly exemplifies the Third Goal of bringing the world back home by welcoming new Americans into his home and helping dozens to achieve success in the U.S. This is the letter he received from Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio:”
In his letter of response, Brown makes sweeping assumptions about refugees, avoiding the uncomfortable truths that many of those arriving under President Obama’s watch were unvetted Sunni Muslims from Syria and Iraq — the very sector of society that was persecuting Christians. Others — like Iraqi refugees Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi — were resettled in Kentucky in 2009 and later arrested in 2011 after it was discovered they were sending money and supplies back home to al-Qaida in Iraq. Dozens of Somali refugees have left the U.S. and returned to the Middle East to fight for either ISIS in Syria or Iraq, or al-Shabab in Somalia.
Trump has ended the Syrian refugee program and has vastly upgraded the vetting of refugees from other countries, a step Brown has staunchly opposed on the one hand while saying he is in favor of rigorous vetting on the other hand.
The Columbus, Ohio, area has already become the second-largest destination for Somali refugees in the U.S. after Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. CARV’s service projects include working with Catholic Services to resettle more refugees into Ohio cities.
Brown, in his letter to Ison, also provides blatantly false information to his constituent, Ison, stating: “The President also announced he would be reducing U.S. refugee admissions to 45,000 for fiscal year (FY) 2018, down from 110,000 for FY 2017.”
At no time did the Obama administration ever admit 110,000 refugees in a single year. In fact, the numbers averaged around 70,000 a year, reaching a high of 84,994 in fiscal 2016, which was Obama’s last full fiscal-year in office. Obama did set the ceiling at an astronomically high 110,000 for fiscal 2017 but that was just a goal, or a target, and his successor, Trump, did not come close to fulfilling it.
Brown tells Ison he was “inspired” by the many radical leftwing demonstrations held around the country in support of refugees. At many of those demonstrations, the protesters were heard chanting “No border, no wall, no USA at all!”
Brown also indicated in the letter the U.S. should remain a leader in supporting the global migration from the Third World to the developed world. This would seem to controvert his repeated statements that he wants to help Ohio workers, who now must compete with the Third-World migrants who offer themselves as cheap labor for the big corporations.
Brown is up for re-election to the U.S. Senate on Nov. 6 and is being challenged by Republican Congressman Jim Renacci (R-OH-16).
Brown’s letter to Ison can be read in full below:
Dear Mr. Ison:
Thank you for sharing your personal story with me. I appreciate your service and continued support for refugees.
Like you, I believe the United States must play a central role in assisting refugees. Turning our backs on children and families just like ours – whose only goal is to escape violence and persecution – does not make us safer.
On January 27, 2017, President Trump signed an initial executive order (EO), which suspended the United States Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 days. Thousands of refugees from the most vulnerable corners of the world, who had already been through rigorous screening, faced the possibility they might not be allowed into the U.S. Several lawsuits were filed to block the EO, and multiple federal courts issued injunctions that prevented the government from enforcing various parts of the EO. Since then, courts have knocked down various parts of the EO and its later iterations.
In October 2017, President Trump issued a new EO resuming the USRAP with so-called “enhanced vetting” and barred admissions of refugees from 11 countries for 90 days. On December 4, with the EO facing legal challenges, the Supreme Court ruled that the new restrictions could take effect while the Court examines the case. The President also announced he would be reducing U.S. refugee admissions to 45,000 for fiscal year (FY) 2018, down from 110,000 for FY 2017.
Accepting refugees enriches our local communities and fulfills America’s promise as a welcome home to everyone. However, we must continue to use every tool at our disposal to make sure our screening system is tough and effective. I voted to strengthen our vetting system, and will continue to support meaningful efforts to ensure it works to keep terrorists out. But abandoning refugee families – many of whom are fleeing the very same terrorists we are fighting – is wrong and does not make America safer.
The message sent by President Trump in the EOs – that refugees are not welcome in the U.S. – is deeply concerning and contrary to America’s foundational principles. But I am heartened by the outpouring of activism supporting refugees and immigrants, like your letter. I have also been inspired by the many demonstrations we have seen across the country – one of which I joined at John Glenn International Airport in Columbus in January.
I have met with refugee families around Ohio and have witnessed how they contribute to our state. In Washington, I have made my concerns known to the Trump administration and I have advocated for robust funding for refugee programs in the U.S. and abroad. I am an original co-sponsor of S.608 and S.1979, Senate bills that would nullify the EOs, and I helped introduce Senate Resolution 56, which reiterates support for our refugee program and America’s role as a global leader on immigration.
Thank you for your advocacy. I encourage you to stay involved and to tell your story of why these policies matter. Thank again for contacting me.
United States Senator
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Anthony Accardi is a writer and reporter for The Ohio Star.