Proposed Resolution against Syrian Refugees


WHEREAS, the Kootenai County Council is the duly elected governing body authorized to adopt appropriate ordinances, resolutions and police powers to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the County; and

WHEREAS, the Federal Government has by Executive Order begun the relocation of thousands of refugees from the Middle East to the United States through the United States Refugee Resettlement Program; and

WHEREAS, the issue of resettlement of refugees, particularly from the Middle East, is a matter of the most urgent concern to the citizens of Kootenai County, because it raises genuine concerns over matters of national security, the influx of terrorists, impacts on public health, public safety, and the expenditures of public taxpayer funds; and

WHEREAS, the refugee resettlement process will create new and substantial financial burdens for the citizens of the County, in that the influx of refugee families will present unfunded burdens, including but not limited to, burdens on schools, law enforcement, and health care providers; and

WHEREAS, there exist serious unresolved security concerns regarding Syrian refugees who may be resettled in this County, since the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) has admitted that they are unable to conduct adequate background checks on incoming Middle East refugees. The FBI’s deputy assistant director of counter-terrorism, Michael Steinbach, testified before a House Homeland Security committee in February, 2015, that it was virtually impossible to screen refugees from a “failed state” like Syria, where the U.S. does not have boots on the ground and does not have access to reliable police or intelligence records; and

WHEREAS, one refugee who arrived in Idaho from Uzbekistan has been convicted of three terrorism-related charges after prosecutors said he worked to support a terrorist organization and gathered explosive materials in his Boise apartment. Fazliddin Kurbanov, a Russian-speaking truck driver who fled Uzbekistan in 2009, was arrested two years ago by federal authorities who said he was determined to carry out an attack on U.S. soil. Prosecutors also said he tried to provide computer support and money to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, which the U.S. government has identified as a terrorist organization; and

WHEREAS, one of the terrorists responsible for the mass murders of more than one hundred people in Paris, France on November 13, 2015 has already been identified as entering that country as a feigned refugee seeking asylum; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Steinbach informed the House Homeland Security Committee that bringing in Syrian refugees “pose a greater risk to Americans” as it raises the possibility that refugees could have connections to foreign terrorist groups; and

WHEREAS, a reporter for the Daily Mail, Nick Fagge, was able to easily obtain a forged Syrian passport made from a genuine blank original for $2,000 in four days, and this forgery was indistinguishable from a valid passport; and

WHEREAS, even though the resettlement is being directed and funded through a federal program under a bureau of the U.S. State Department, there are direct costs to the taxpayers of the County and the rest of Idaho incurred by the State by reason of the resettlement of these refugees, and therefore public taxpayer funds are being used to support the resettlement; and

WHEREAS, the Board of County Commissioners expresses its concern over and opposition to the United States’ Resettlement Program, and any possible State and County expenditures for the program in Kootenai County.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Kootenai County Board of County Commissioners will not approve, participate in or proceed with the expenditure of any County funds to assist in the United States Refugee Resettlement Program in Kootenai County; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Kootenai County Board of County Commissioners calls upon the Governor of the State of Idaho and the Idaho State Legislature, and all public officials within this State to immediately cease and desist from the placement of refugees anywhere within the State of Idaho until the Idaho State Legislature has convened and passed legislation reflecting the will of the people with regard to refugee resettlement, and until the State of Idaho has conducted its own investigation and taken all other steps necessary to insure the health, safety and welfare of the people of Idaho with respect to the potential terrorist threat arising from the resettlement of these refugees; AND

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that if the Kootenai County Board of County Commissioners, the Governor of the State of Idaho, and the Idaho State Legislature are mandated by the federal government to take Syrian refugees inside the borders of the State of Idaho, that said Commissioners, Governor, and Legislature will act to only allow the federal government to use its own property within the State of Idaho for any refugee resettlement, and that the federal government be required to indemnify the State of Idaho and its governmental subdivisions, including hospital districts, school districts, and other specialty districts from all financial impacts of such resettlement.

PASSED AND ADOPTED this ________ day of November, 2015.