Mayor Michael Ghassali of Montvale, New Jersey knows something about refugees, being one himself way back in 1980. He and his family came to America from Syria just before the siege of Aleppo. He worked hard and succeeded and is now mayor of a New Jersey town. But he is also aware that some very bad people can come here as refugees as well and he isn’t willing to sacrifice the safety of his constituents to blindly defend every refugee.
“I will not be signing any executive orders that will ask our employees to defy federal laws. A mayor should not be advocating the defiance of federal laws.”
“Montvale is not a Sanctuary City under this administration.”
“I know exactly what they go through, but it’s not my job to say ‘look you can come to my town, it’s a sanctuary city for you.’”
Just last month, President Donald Trump issued an executive order that paused travel from seven Muslim countries in order to stymie any potential terrorists that originate from them. Since then, Trump has faced no small amount of backlash. This includes protests such as the “Day Without Immigrants,” where many immigrants refused to show up for work, as well as public displays of defiance like the activists that hung a banner across the Statue of Liberty’s pedestal that read “welcome refugees” across it.
Regardless, Trump has stated that he plans to change the measure up in order to see to it that it holds water in court.
Ghassali himself is very sentimental to the refugees wishing to flee places like the one he came from, however, as he previously stated, he realizes the limitations of his office, and that the law is the law.
“My whole network is either a refugee or has a family or friend who is a refugee. I feel it. It is very personal,” said Ghassali, on his connection with the refugees.