Michael Moore plans to defy Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s announced ban on Syrian refugees entering the state, and has offered up his own home up as a safe space for those fleeing their war-torn country.
The Oscar-winning documentary director’s announcement comes in the form of an open letter, in which he calls Gov. Snyder’s decision to turn away those in need of U.S. shelter as “disgraceful” and “unconstitutional.”
“Contrary to your declaration of denying Syrian refugees a home in our state of Michigan, I myself am going to defy your ban and will offer MY home in Traverse City, Michigan, to those very Syrian refugees you’ve decided to keep out,” Moore wrote. “I will contact the State Department to let them know I am happy to provide a safe haven to any Syrian refugee couple approved by the Obama administration’s vetting procedures in which I have full faith and trust.”
“Your action is not only disgraceful, it is, as you know, unconstitutional (only the President has the legal right to decide things like this),” Moore continued. “What you’ve done is anti-American.”
Moore, best known for directing documentaries “Bowling for Columbine” and “Fahrenheit 9/11,” hails from Michigan.
In fact, his 1989 breakthrough film “Roger and Me” followed his efforts to confront General Motors CEO Roger Smith about the harm from the company’s decision to downsize auto production in his hometown, Flint. His latest film, “Where to Invade Next,” will hit New York and Los Angeles theaters on Dec. 23, with a national release scheduled for Jan. 15.
Moore’s criticism of Gov. Snyder comes after widespread political backlash to Syrian refugees entering the United States in wake of the terrorist attacks abroad last week.
As of Tuesday, 31 states had joined the protest against housing Syrian refugees in fear of terrorists affiliated with ISIS posing as a refugee to enter American borders. President Obama announced in September that his administration would allow 10,000 Syrians to enter the U.S. next year.
Other states that have supported a ban on Syrian refugees include Alabama, Georgia, Texas and Arizona, Illinois, Maine and New Hampshire. As Moore noted in his scathing letter, all but one of those states have a Republican governor.
Read the filmmaker’s full letter to Gov. Snyder below.
Dear Gov. Snyder:
I just wanted to let you know that, contrary to your declaration of denying Syrian refugees a home in our state of Michigan, I myself am going to defy your ban and will offer MY home in Traverse City, Michigan, to those very Syrian refugees you’ve decided to keep out. I will contact the State Department to let them know I am happy to provide a safe haven to any Syrian refugee couple approved by the Obama administration’s vetting procedures in which I have full faith and trust.
Your action is not only disgraceful, it is, as you know, unconstitutional (only the President has the legal right to decide things like this).
What you’ve done is anti-American. This is not who we are supposed to be. We are, for better and for worse, a nation of descendants of three groups: slaves from Africa who were brought here in chains and then forced to provide trillions of dollars of free labor to build this country; native peoples who were mostly exterminated by white Christians through acts of mass genocide; and immigrants from EVERYWHERE around the globe. In Michigan we are fortunate to count amongst us tens of thousands of Arab and Muslim Americans.
I’m disappointed in you, Governor Snyder, for your heartless and un-Christian actions, and for joining in with at least 25 other governors (all but one a Republican) who’ve decided to block legal Syrian refugees from coming into their states. Fortunately I’m an American and not a Republican.
Governor, count me out of whatever you think it means to be a Michigander. I look forward to welcoming Syrians to my home and I wholeheartedly encourage other Americans to do the same.
P.S. By the way, my 700-sq. ft. apartment in northern Michigan is a little small, but it’s got cable, wi-fi and a new dishwasher! Also, no haters live on my floor! Stop by any time for a hot chocolate this winter.