Two recent news reports revealed that a very small city in Georgia and a medium-sized city in Idaho have each received more Syrian refugees than New York City and Los Angeles combined.
Stone Mountain, Georgia (shown), has just 5,800 people, but has received 72 Syrian refugees for resettlement since the start of the fiscal year last October 1. In contrast, Los Angeles (population: 3,792,621) has resettled just 45 Syrian refugees, while New York (population: 8,550,405) has resettled only nine.
A report in the online Daily Caller noted that in addition to the Syrians, 83 refugees have settled there from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 36 from Burma, 26 from Somalia, 21 from the Central African Republic, 18 from Eritrea, 13 from Bhutan, eight from Ethiopia, seven from Afghanistan, six from the Ivory Coast, four from Iraq, two each from Pakistan and Iraq, and one from Sudan.
Furthermore, notes the Daily Caller, because the population of Stone Mountain is 75 percent black, and has a poverty rate of 22.5 percent (well above the national average of 13.5 percent), the placement of these refugees there is likely to place an economic burden on the residents of the city.
On the other side of the country, the Idaho Statesman reported that the city of Boise, with a population of 205,000, has received 118 Syrian refugees since October 1, which is again higher than New York and Los Angeles combined.
The Statesman reported that after last year’s terrorist attacks in Paris, many Republicans urged President Obama to halt the resettlement of Syrian refugees after it was revealed that one of the Paris bombers had a Syrian passport.
Idaho Governor Butch Otter was among many of the nation’s governors who wrote a letter to the president saying that the refugee program needed review and that “frustration with the federal immigration and refugee program runs high” in his state.
Otter won unanimous backing from Idaho’s all-Republican congressional delegation, noted the Statesman, with Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch and Representatives Mike Simpson and Raul Labrador all calling for suspending the program. The report cited Crapo’s statement that he had strong concerns about the vetting of the refugees, while Risch said he had serious reservations about safety guarantees.