PONTIAC, Mich. - Thousands of Syrian refugees are still trying to make their way to America and could end up in Michigan.
Right now plans are moving forward for a housing development in Pontiac, specifically for displaced immigrants.
Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson is fuming that a housing development for Syrian Refugees will move forward despite his opposition.
"Someone sent me a picture of 10,000 jelly beans and said here, take all you want but 10 are poisonous," Patterson said. "Who would take that? I'm not willing to take that risk."
"We can't vet these people furthermore no records in Syria that we can use to check. You can't let everyone in because we will have infiltration of terrorists."
A Pontiac resident who lives near some of the property that was purchased for the project, is also upset
"I think it's just right pitiful. I don't agree with it," said Tokovie Carthane.
The housing project is being spearheaded by Pontiac Community Investment LLC and Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner, who approved the sale of the land for the project.
In a recent statement Meisner spoke about Patterson's opposition by saying his comments politicize a project that will bring economic development to Pontiac. Meisner has also said it provides housing for people desperately in need and who have undergone exhaustive background checks
But Pontiac's mayor says she and many residents want to learn more about the project that will be housed in her city. She is encouraging community members to attend an upcoming meeting about the project
"There will be people there from Home Land Security, other federal government agencies, elected members both state and local to share information," said Dr. Deirdre Waterman. "And one of the things we want to do is have a discussion in a safe forum."
But Patterson says he has a message for Meisner.
"Meisner is playing with nitroglycerin," he said. "And I can't believe he doesn't understand that."