Monday, November 30, 2015

Rural Mississippi Delta town passes resolution to accept Syrian refugees

While many states—especially in the South—have said they don't want Syrian refugees, officials in a small rural town in the Mississippi Delta unanimously approved a resolution "in support of the U.S. policy to accept refugees from war-torn areas of the world," Bracey Harris reports for The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss. Officials in Louise (Best Places map), which has less than 200 residents, cited a moral religious responsibility to help those in need.

The resolution states: “This town’s governing body fears no threat but rather feels its Christian duty and obligation to divine providence, which has led this great nation from its founding to contribute relief for these poor peoples’ needs.” While the resolution doesn't cite specific groups, Louise Mayor Thomas Ruffin Smith said the town is open to taking Syrian refugees.

Even though Republican Gov. Phil Bryant has said he opposes resettling Syrians in Mississippi, Smith "said he is not worried about the resolution creating a conflict with the state," Harris writes. Smith told Harris, “There’s a long history of Southern governors resisting federal policy, and history has shown us it doesn’t work out well." Smith also said neighboring states have resettled Syrian refugees, which would make it difficult to keep them out of Mississippi. (CNN map: (Kentucky Governor-Elect Matt Bevin, a Republican, said the state will not accept Syrian refugees once he takes office Dec. 8))

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