Athens Rally Supports the Resettlement of Syrian Refugees in Ohio< < Back to
Athens residents organized a protest rally soon after Ohio Governor John Kasich announced that he is against having more refugees from Syria resettled in Ohio.
On Tuesday, approximately 50 people gathered on the steps of the Athens County Courthouse, holding signs, chanting, and sharing their experiences to show they stand with those who are fleeing violence in their country.
Athens resident Mara Siegel said she just wants it to be known that she doesn’t support the policy that lawmakers are pushing. “I don’t support racist policies in America” Siegel said “and I think it’s messed up that the governor of Ohio thinks is okay and that the American government thinks is okay.”
About an hour before the rally began the Republican-dominated Ohio House passed a symbolic resolution stating that they stand behind Kasich’s sentiment. Kasich says resettling Syrian refugees in Ohio has major safety and security concerns.
International Socialist Organization member and rally organizer Bobby Walker said the rejection of Syrian refugees is a continuation of “Islamophobic rhetoric that perpetuates an imperialistic war.”
According to the American Constitution, states do not have the legal authority decide matters of immigration, naturalization, and resettlement. The Refugee Act of 1980 outlines the federal government’s authority in regards to offering a safe haven to refugees.