The South Carolina Senate Created a “Refugee Registry” That Is Exactly What It Sounds Like

Vlassis Chrisopoulos/Pacific Press/ZUMA Wire

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The latest episode in the national freak-out over Syrian refugees is playing out in South Carolina, where the state senate has overwhelmingly passed a bill that would create state refugee registry and require state law enforcement agencies to investigate incoming refugees.

“With the danger today of a terrorist infiltrating the refugee program, we have no other option than to enroll this information,” said Kevin Bryant, a Republican state senator who co-sponsored the bill, according to South Carolina’s The State newspaper. The bill still has to be passed by South Carolina’s House of Representatives and signed by Gov. Nikki Haley (R) before becoming law.



Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/the-buzz/article67809132.html#storylink=cpy

The United States has pledged to take in at least 10,000 Syrian refugees, a small fraction of the US’ overall refugee intake each year. Government officials say Syrian refugees are strictly and lengthily vetted, enduring a degree of scrutiny higher than any other group of people trying to enter the US. But after the terrorist attacks in Paris last November, governors and state lawmakers around the country tried to bar refugees from their states or restrict aid money and cooperation for people being resettled there.

The final version of the bill passed in South Carolina doesn’t try to cut off any funding for refugees, which the federal government and refugee resettlement groups say is illegal. Instead the measure would have the refugees’ sponsors submit information about the refugees to the state’s social services agency, which would pass the data on to state and local law enforcement agencies for additional (and unspecified) security checks. It also adds another layer of suspicion in a state where anti-Muslim rhetoric helped propel Donald Trump to a convincing win in the Republican primary there last month. But South Carolina is not alone; the New York state legislature is also considering a registry bill that would require fingerprinting and monitoring of refugees.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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