|Council Members Don Zimmerman, Ora Houston, and Greg Casar|
"Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man,
But afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel."
This afternoon, the Austin City Council's Public Safety Committee rejected Council member Don Zimmerman's (Far Northwest Austin) resolution to support Governor Abbott's refusal to participate in the Obama administrations Syrian 'refugee' resettlement program. Council members Ora Houston (East Austin) and Greg Casar (Northeast Austin) voted against the resolution, Zimmerman voted for it. Council Member Leslie Pool was not present.
Colonel Clarke Straughn testified first. He fully supported the Governor and Council member Zimmerman. Straughn pointed out that some of the Paris bombers entered Europe as 'refugees.' He reminded the committee about the 2013 threat against Sixth Street. Zimmerman asked him several questions.
Multiple representatives from the local refugee resettlement agency Caritas spoke against the resolution. Their message was essentially: "trust the Feds." They described how the alleged 'refugees' would be 'vetted' by the NSA, the CIA, and the State Department. We find it difficult to think of three Federal agencies we trust less (though they could have thrown in the Federal Reserve and IRS for good measure). Putting it mildly, the Federal Government does not deserve our trust.
To be fair, the Caritas representatives may have given a decent description of how the refugee program has functioned in the past. But if anyone trusts the lawless Obama administration to maintain the program as it has existed historically, we have some mineral rights in South Texas we would LOVE to sell them. Seriously, they cited the freakin' NSA favorably....
Two other people, including Williamson County Sheriff Candidate Bill Kelberlau, also testified in favor of Zimmerman's resolution. They pointed out that Syria doesn't have the capability to share the information the United States would need to properly vet these folks. Kelberlau also discussed the need for a "comprehensive risk analysis."
This author had also signed up to testify, but we were pushed back to citizens communication due to time constraints and decided not to wait until the end of the hearing. Had we testified, we would have pointed out the similarities between the discussion Austin is having and the sanctuary city policies in San Francisco that led to the tragic murder of Kate Steinle this past summer. Remember, the pro-Sanctuary City Sheriff of San Francisco county LOST his election earlier this month following Steinle's murder.
Bottom Line: Given how the votes on Council are structured (for now), the fix was in on this hearing before it began. It still was a useful discussion to have and got several more Council members on the record. If, God forbid, something happens a la Kate Stienle in San Francisco, the Council members who promoted this recklessly INSANE policy are going to OWN it.