The Hillary Clinton-supporting mayor of Roanoke, Va. is askinggovernment and non-government agencies in his region to“suspend and delay” assistance to Syrian refugees, amove he’s defending by citing Franklin D. Roosevelt’sJapanese internment camps.
In a statement released on Wednesday, David Bowers, a Democrat,said that in light of ISIS’ recent attacks in Paris, it wouldbe “imprudent” to allow Syrian refugees into theU.S.Â The Obama administration seeks to allow 10,000Syrian refugees to settle in the U.S. to escape civil war in theirhomeland.
“At least for awhile into the future, it seems to me to bebetter safe than sorry,” said Bowers, who is listed on Clinton’s campaignwebsite as one of the mayors who has endorsed her.
“Iâ€™m reminded that President FranklinD. Roosevelt felt compelled to sequester Japanese foreign nationalsafter the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and it appears that the threatof harm to America from Isis now is just as real and serious asthat from our enemies then,”
Shortly after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941,Roosevelt enacted an executive order forcing residents of Japaneseethnicity into internment camps across the U.S. As many as 120,000Japanese were sequestered in the camps until after the warended.
Bowers comments come as President Obama and other Democratsattack Republicans for speaking out against allowing the Syrianresettlement, which is slated to begin next year.
Obama has taken special aim at comments from Republicanpresidential candidates Jeb Bush and Chris Christie. Bush assertedthat the U.S. should prioritize Christian Syrians for refugeestatus. Christie said he opposed allowing any refugees, exceptthose who are very young.
“When candidates say, we wouldnâ€™t admitthree-year-old orphans — thatâ€™s politicalposturing. When individuals say that we should have a religioustest and that only Christians — proven Christians —should be admitted — thatâ€™s offensive andcontrary to American values,” Obama said on Tuesday.(RELATED: Obama Accuses Republicans Of Being‘Worried About Three-Year-Old Orphans)
â€œFirst, they were worried about the pressbeing too tough on them during debates,” Obama continued.“Now theyâ€™re worried about three-year-oldorphans.Â That doesnâ€™t sound verytough to me.”
In opposing the refugee resettlement, Bowers parts company withVirginia’s Democratic governor, Terry McAuliffe, a closeClinton crony. McAuliffe is one of 23 governors who have said thatthey support the Syrian refugee plan. As of Wednesday, 27 governors— 26 Republicans and one Democrat — have come outagainst the measure.