PONTIAC (WWJ) – The Pontiac City Council is discussing a planned development for Syrian Refugees, a day after Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson asked the city to give a thumbs down to the plan for housing a community center for the refugees in a vacant school.

Patterson warned of “imminent danger” should Syrian refugees be allowed into the county.

Troy civil rights attorney Shareef Akeel says the fear is unfounded.

“The Department of Homeland Security, that is their job … every day our borders are patroled, there are checks and balances,” said Akeel.

“When there was a terrible Hitler regime — the Jews were fleeing and they were seeking sanctity in different countries – including Netherlands — history is repeating itself and we can’t shut the door on people who are seeking our help.”

Akeel says to turn down a development only for certain groups of people smacks of discrimination.


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