Friday, June 28, 2019

Compassion for refugees can hurt US communities

One of the great qualities of our federal system is how it allows the states to operate as “laboratories of democracy.”
The late Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis coined the phrase to describe how a “state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.” It’s a model that has served our nation well – until now.
As America’s internecine struggle over immigration continues, bureaucrats are creating “laboratories of democracy,” but with a twist. The federal government is forcing refugees onto states and determining where they will be placed.
Asylum seekers, by contrast, have more say over their destination and often gravitate to places where family or friends from their homelands have already settled. Still, some states have embraced their selection as refugee laboratories. The experiment serves to answer the question: What would happen if we encouraged and accepted seemingly infinite numbers of asylum seekers into our communities? The results are coming in, and they’re not pretty.
Take Maine, long known as a popular tourist destination of rugged coastlines, dense forests and lobster tails. At the beginning of the 21st century, Maine began to attract Somali immigrants in the Portland and Lewiston areas. Perhaps because of its open-door reputation, Maine today is overwhelmed with asylum seekers from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola.
Local gyms have been converted into makeshift shelters and elected leaders are debating how the community will pay for all the generosity. Cash-strapped Portland alone is facing a bill of over $1 million to accommodate a migrant flow that is almost certain to increase.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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