US

Syrian immigrant mayor says he won't allow his town to become a sanctuary city

ATLANTA, GA - FEBRUARY 9: In this handout provided by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Foreign nationals were arrested this week during a targeted enforcement operation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) aimed at immigration fugitives, re-entrants and at-large criminal aliens February 9, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Bryan Cox/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via Getty Images)

Mayor Michael Ghassali of Montvale, New Jersey has stated that his town will not play host to any illegal immigrants.

This is especially interesting, as Ghassali himself is a Syrian immigrant whose family had fled Aleppo in 1980, just before the Siege of Aleppo that would leave hundreds dead.

“I will not be signing any executive orders that will ask our employees to defy federal laws. A mayor should not be advocating the defiance of federal laws,” said Ghassali in a Facebook post just last week.

"Montvale is not a Sanctuary City under this administration," he added.

During an interview with WCBS 880’s Kelly Waldron, Ghassali said that it's not his job to make, change, or defy laws, and then ask his employees to do the same.

“I know exactly what they go through, but it’s not my job to say ‘look you can come to my town, it’s a sanctuary city for you,'” Ghassali said.

Just last month, President Donald Trump issued an executive order that paused travel from seven Muslim countries in order to stymie any potential terrorists that originate from them. Since then, Trump has faced no small amount of backlash. This includes protests such as the "Day Without Immigrants," where many immigrants refused to show up for work, as well as public displays of defiance like the activists that hung a banner across the Statue of Liberty's pedestal that read "welcome refugees" across it.

Regardless, Trump has stated that he plans to change the measure up in order to see to it that it holds water in court.

 

Ghassali himself is very sentimental to the refugees wishing to flee places like the one he came from, however, as he previously stated, he realizes the limitations of his office, and that the law is the law.

"My whole network is either a refugee or has a family or friend who is a refugee. I feel it. It is very personal," said Ghassali, on his connection with the refugees.

While he will uphold the law, Ghassali does have some criticisms as to how Trump is handling the immigration issue.

"They should spend the time to look at the current process before causing havoc among the refugees," he said.

 

One last thing…
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