Jesse Jackson attends Dearborn meeting on Syrian refugees

- President Obama wants the United States to accept thousands of refugees from Syria. Many strong opinions have been given on both sides of the issues, but locally, one prominent civil rights leader is saying the refugees deserve a chance in America.

A meeting called All Lives Matter: Syrian Refugees in Peril took place at the Lebanese American Heritage Club with local and state representatives, and also prominent civil rights leader Jesse Jackson.

"In 1939, Jews were trying to flee Germany on a ship called the Saint Louis; we turned them away back into the Holocaust. We should not make that same error again. We must relieve the fears and the stereotypes and make rooms for our brothers and sisters who are Syrians," Jackson said.

Sam Salamey, a local judge in Dearborn, came to the forum Sunday evening and weighed in saying refugees are not the problem.

"I think our foreign policy on this course be revised and to deal with the situation," he says.

The editor of the Arab American News and the chair board of the Arab American Civil Rights League also addressed concerns every time there is an act of terrorism.

"What people fail to remember is that, the Arab Americans and the Muslim Americans are the first to pay the price for these terrorist acts. We are the first; we are at the forefront of this. We are the first to be called upon to hate crimes and messages of hate that is targeted towards us," said Nabih Ayad.

The Reverend also addressed Governor Sndyer's efforts to keep refugees out of Michigan.

"They're playing up on fear. These same people went to church today; Jesus was a refugee," Jackson said.

Congressman John Conyers was also at the meeting, saying he believes the vetting process is sufficient.

Organizers say they don't have any further steps just yet, and that the meeting was to start discussions in the community. 

 

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