Sunday, October 23, 2016 – 3:53 p.m.
On Friday, the Daily Press confirmed that Syrian refugees have indeed been placed in Victorville by the federal government. On Tuesday, Angela Valles broke the news and rebuked Supervisor Robert Lovingood and the Victorville City Council for either covering it up, or being asleep at the wheel.
Officials from both agencies refused to condemn and oppose the placement of these refugees within San Bernardino County. Additionally, they took turns attacking Valles.
Lies, Corruption & Cover Ups
Supervisor Robert Lovingood’s campaign has been in a tailspin since the news broke in the very conservative High Desert district that encompasses the cities of Adelanto, Hesperia, Victorville, and the Town of Apple Valley.
He slammed Valles in an obvious effort to deflect from taking accountability for the unfolding scandal. He claimed that Valles was merely seeking headlines and unaware of the responsibilities of the office.
Victorville Councilman Lyin’ Ryan McEachron, a Lovingood ally who has endorsed his re-election bid, accused Valles of lying about the federal government’s responsibility to notify and work with local governments.
The official county response, presumably vetted by County Counsel, stated that there was no such law requiring the federal government to respond.
For a moment, let’s assume that they are all correct. Is it not just a little unsettling that all of these local officials elected to represent the people do not even care enough to get angry at the federal government?
Their response was quite shocking and unexpectedly disastrous.
However, the truth is, the federal government is required to notify local officials. The Federation for American Immigration Reform chastised San Bernardino County and the City of Victorville in a scathing editorial published in today’s Daily Press.
Unfortunately, I do not see it available online — so I will copy and paste the text of the commentary below:
Article misleads about immigration law, is unfair to organization
By Bob Dane
The recent (Friday, Oct. 21) article about First District Supervisor candidate Angela Valles’s concerns regarding the resettlement of Syrian refugees in her community without public notification (Valles Angered over Syrian Refugees’ entry into Victorville, October 20, 2016) misled readers about federal immigration law while also attempting to tarnish the reputation of one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious immigration reform organizations in the process.
Valles had good reason to be upset that Syrian refugees were resettled into Victorville without consultation from the federal government.
In fact, pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1522(a)(2)(A), federal agents responsible for administering the refugee resettlement program “shall consult regularly (not less often than quarterly) with State and local governments and private nonprofit voluntary agencies concerning the sponsorship process and the intended distribution of refugees among the States and localities before their placement in those States and localities.”
Either local officials were consulted in advance about the plan to resettle Syrian refugees in Victorville and have chosen — for whatever reason — to conceal that fact from the public, or federal law was ignored or violated. Either way, the public has a right to know.
There are many widely acknowledged risks associated with resettling Syrian refugees, so Valles and other Victorville citizens should be rightfully concerned.
In fact, NATO Commander General Philip Breedlove commented earlier this year that ISIS is using the flow of refugees as cover to infiltrate terrorists into Western societies. And the directors of National Intelligence, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the former director of Central Intelligence Agency along with the Secretary of Homeland Security, have all acknowledged that effective vetting of Syrian refugees is not possible. The article also unfairly tarnishes the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), a national non-partisan organization that has 500,000 members across the nation. The charges against FAIR by the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that has a well-documented history of slandering political opponents, have been widely discredited.
Since the founding of the organization in 1979, FAIR has been asked to testify before Congress on more than a hundred occasions, on all aspects of immigration policy.
FAIR representatives have appeared or been quoted in thousands of broadcast and print news reports, and our opinion columns appear regularly in major printand online publications. The organization has issued hundreds of reports covering every aspect of immigration policy, and those reports are widely cited by members of Congress and the media.
Moreover, according to polls, our views on immigration policy are supported by the overwhelming majority of Americans.
Had the reporter bothered to contact us about either the refugee issue or the wildly unfair accusations about FAIR, we could have set him straight on both accounts.
—Bob Dane is executive director of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).
“shall consult regularly (not less often than quarterly) with State and local governments and private nonprofit voluntary agencies concerning the sponsorship process and the intended distribution of refugees among the States and localities before their placement in those States and localities.”
— 8 U.S.C. § 1522(a)(2)(A) (In reference to the settlement program and federal agents responsibilities)
Disclosure: Joseph Turner previously served as the Western Regional Field Representative for the Federation for American Immigration Reform.