Monday, March 7, 2016

City Councilman Pico opposes refugees moving here

Posted By on Mon, Mar 7, 2016 at 2:14 PM

click to enlarge Pico: Opposed to relocating refugees here. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Pico: Opposed to relocating refugees here.
City Council apparently has been bombarded with opposition to the resolution drafted by City Councilor Andy Pico that calls on the city to oppose relocation of refugees from Syria and other Middle East war-torn countries.

Read more in Wednesday's Indy.

—-ORIGINAL POST 2:14 P.M. Monday, March 7, 2016———

City Councilor Andy Pico will urge colleagues this afternoon to pass his resolution calling for a ban on refugees being sent to Colorado Springs without extra, super-duper federal background checks.

The proposal follows a similar measure adopted by El Paso County commissioners last fall.

Here are a few provisions of Pico's resolution:

WHEREAS, City Council has significant security concerns about the Refugee Resettlement Program, including the federal government’s ability to fully vet incoming refugees to ensure the safety of the general public. These concerns are heightened because of recent terror attacks in Paris and the ongoing terrorist operations around the world; and

WHEREAS, City Council is also concerned about the financial burdens refugees can place upon local schools, law enforcement, and community services. This is an unfunded mandate imposed upon the community during uncertain economic times in which the City budget and other governmental entities and agencies are already experiencing financial stress;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the City Council of the City of Colorado Springs:
City Council hereby declares its opposition to the relocation of refugees to the City of Colorado Springs from the United States Refugee Resettlement Program until, and unless they are certified by the federal government not to pose a security threat.

The proposal drew sharp criticism from Councilor Bill Murray, to which Pico responded:

Until and unless they are certified by the federal government not to pose a security threat.

How many Syrians were in the Paris attack? One. One too many.

And no, we did not all arrive here as immigrants.

I have and do support programs that support immigrants and refugees. When my ship rescued a hundred refugees, we dropped them off in the next port where they were placed in a refugee resettlement camp, screened, and then all brought to the US with the full knowledge and cooperation of the cities involved.

That used to be how this process worked and that is all this resolution asks for. This resolution does not prohibit any resettlement.

Hold on, Murray said, adding:

If this is standard practice, why the resolution? Opposition to all refugees to the City? Or were you addressing only Syrians? Not specified. When did we start doing things because the County told us to? Please provide us your point of contact with these agencies so we can review the data you received in coming to these conclusions. How many Syrians were involved in the attack in Paris? French Nationals?

There is nothing respectful about this resolution, a request to the agency in question would have be sufficient to achieve this's designed to publicly demonstrate our level of intolerance and fear to a program with a remarkable history. Our city is better than that. Sometimes we fail to remember that we all arrived here as immigrants...without security checks.

Council is to discuss the matter this afternoon.

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