Swisher Mayor Welcomes Refugees

Nov 20, 2015

Governor Terry Branstad is one of more than 25 governors who have said no to helping Syrian refugees. That didn't stop Mayor Chris Taylor from proclaiming Wednesday that the eastern Iowa town of Swisher welcomes them.

"This may come as a surprise to your listeners, but I actually have very little influence on U.S. immigration policy. I just thought it was important to let people know that, once they are let into the country, once they are vetted, once they've gone through the process, that there are places where they would be welcome, where we'd be more than willing to open up our homes and welcome them to America," says Taylor. 

Under the 1980 Refugee Act, local and state government leaders don't have the ability to determine this type of immigration policy, but that hasn't stopped governors and mayors in states like Iowa from weighing in.

"The fact of the matter is, once they've been vetted, once they get a stamp of approval from the president, from the state department, it is not my call to say that they are or are not welcome, and I don't think that it's Terry Branstad's call either."

During this News Buzz edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Mayor Taylor about his decision.