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Dearborn Patch: Johnson, Dingell Discuss Refugee Issues at UM-Dearborn

Dearborn Patch

Dearborn, MI, January 13, 2016 | Beth Dalbey

DEARBORN, MI – U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Dearborn, joined Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson Wednesday in events that included a roundtable discussion with Iraqi and Syrian refugees at the University of Michigan-Dearborn campus.

Johnson has defended the Obama administration’s refugee policy, and has described the vetting of refugee applicants from Syria and Iraq as “extraordinarily thorough and strong.” The Republican-controlled Congress wants to limit the number of refugees. In a vote in the House late last year, several Democrats crossed the aisle to approve the legislation.

During the sessions restricted to university students, faculty and staff, Johnson emphasized the importance of working within local communities to combat violent extremism, reminding those in attendance that “homeland security starts with hometown security, and that we are all stronger when we work together,” Dingell said in a statement.

“This starts with respecting and promoting the great cultural and religious diversity in this country, and specifically in southeast Michigan,” the congresswoman said. “Secretary Johnson meeting with refugee families helped remind all of us about the importance of upholding our values as Americans and opening our arms to people who are fleeing violence and persecution around the world.”

Dingell noted that Dearborn, where about 40 percent of residents are Arab-Americans, is one of the most diverse and inclusive in the country.

“We all have a responsibility to pull together to create safer, more secure neighborhoods for our families, not just now but into the future,” she said.

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