By Detroit Free Press (MI)

The Rev. Jesse Jackson has a message for Gov. Rick Snyder: You're wrong to pull back the welcome mat for Syrian refugees -- wrong legally and morally.

Jesse Jackson

In September, Snyder told reporters he was exploring steps to welcoming Syrian refugees to Michigan. But earlier this month, after deadly terrorist attacks in Paris, Snyder announced he was suspending those efforts and that the state would not accept Syrian refugees until the U.S. Department of Homeland Security reviewed its procedures. More than a dozen other governors have made similar statements.

Jackson, speaking at a town hall meeting tonight in Dearborn, said a states rights argument doesn't trump efforts by the Obama administration to settle at least 10,000 Syrian refugees.

And from a moral standpoint, Christians understand that Jesus was a refugee, himself -- forced from Jerusalem by a leader that feared him, Jackson said, speaking to about three dozen people at the Arab-American Civil Rights League. It was a friendly crowd for Jackson, with hosts calling him and fellow attendee U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Detroit, "dear friends" and "living legends."

"You cannot worship a refugee Jesus on Sunday, then lock the doors (on) the rest of the family on Monday," Jackson said, referring to the pushback against Syrian refugees.

Also with him on the panel was Fayrouz Saad, director of immigrant affairs for Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, who has said Detroit welcomes Syrian refugees, and the Rev. Wendell Anthony, president of the Detroit Branch NAACP.

Jackson and others also noted that other acts of violence that shake America's core -- from the Oklahoma City bombings to the church shooting earlier this year in South Carolina -- have been committed by other faiths and nationalities.

And Nabih Ayad, chairman of the Arab-American Civil Rights League, noted that Arab-Americans are no less fearful of ISIS. Additionally, they may be targeted by those who assume that, because they are Muslim, they are aligned with the terrorist group.

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