The Republican Georgia governor’s once-theoretical pledge not to provide benefits to Syrian refugees that were relocated to the state now has an actual target: A refugee family that arrived last week. But the state isn’t having any second thoughts, reports Caitlin MacNeal:
The Department of Human Services sent a memo in November ordering employees not to process the applications of Syrian refugees after Gov. Nathan Deal (R) issued an executive order telling all state agencies to stop any involvement with the resettlement of refugees from Syria.
Ravae Graham, a spokeswoman for the state’s Department of Human Services, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the department will follow the Nov. 18 memo with the newly arrived family.
“We are just going to follow that process as outlined,” she said.
How these people face the mirror every morning is a mystery. Three people just arrived from a war-torn country—undoubtedly traumatized by their experience—after jumping through two years worth of background checks and procedural hoops in order to secure their safety and a chance at rebuilding. And they have the great misfortune of landing in Georgia, where a Republican governor is more intent on scoring political points than exhibiting a single solitary ounce of humanity or leadership.
The federal government has warned Gov. Deal that depriving refugees of food stamps would be a violation of federal statute. But Deal’s a yahoo with ideas!
“I’ve already told them if they don’t like the way we administer the SNAP program, the food stamp program — it’s their program — if they don’t like the way we do it, let them come run it,” Deal said last week, according to the Savannah Morning News. “We’ll hand it over to them.”[…]
Although Deal has been steadfast in his defense of his policies regarding Syrian refugees, the state’s attorney general, Sam Olens, a Republican, does not believe the state is on solid legal ground.
Forget logic and reason, Olens—Deal’s going to deliver his own personal brand of justice this holiday season, using the misery of a refugee family to thumb his nose at the federal government.