John Hickenlooper's Plan to Take Syrian Refugees Dissed on His Facebook Page

Although Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper put out a press release yesterday revealing his plan to accept Syrian refugees into the state, his staff didn't share the announcement on his Facebook page.

In all likelihood, this omission was made in an effort to avoid a storm of negative commentary.

But the storm, like this morning's snow, arrived anyhow.

Here's Hickenlooper's statement about the refugee situation — one that makes a direct reference to the attacks in Paris that cost well over 100 lives:
“A few short days ago we witnessed another senseless act of terrorism. Our hearts go out to the families, friends and loved ones of those lost and injured in Paris, and in other acts of terror around the world. Our first priority remains the safety of our residents. We will work with the federal government and Homeland Security to ensure the national verification processes for refugees are as stringent as possible. We can protect our security and provide a place where the world’s most vulnerable can rebuild their lives.”  
This explanation clearly didn't satisfy many of those who visited Hickenlooper on Facebook. Opponents of the plan posted comments on a slew of items on other topics — not just a photo of the French flag with the American and Colorado flags superimposed over it, but also a snowy pic of Steamboat Springs and a tribute to the late Paul Stewart, founder of the Black American West Museum.

In addition, the latest batch of messages sent directly to the page are dominated by the refugee topic. Here are ten examples posted between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. this morning:
Please reconsider the decision of allowing refugees into our state. You can not guarantee our safety by doing this.

Governor, We The People demand protection and safety for our families. Thus, I am demanding that you stop any and all refugees and illegals into our state. Thank you.

Allowing Syrians in to this State without proper background checks...are you insane? Your a typical "go along with the party" politician. What a disgrace!

I suggest the Syrian refugees (?) live and work in your bar. Typical libbie moron. Givin' it all away.

Please stop all Syrian refugees from coming to Colorado! We have enough problems with illegal immigrants as-is. Why would you deliberately put us in danger? Also stop Gitmo prisoners from coming to CO. What is wrong with you? Recall vote is still an option. You barely won last election. You really need to start sticking up for and protecting your constituents over illegals and Muslim refugees.

Governor, you should be bound by the desire of your citizens, who overwhelmingly support blocking any Syrian refugees from relocating to Colorado in the wake of the Paris attacks. Do your job, don't be a tool of the feds, stand up for those of us that put you in office.

Please rethink allowing Syrian refugees coming into this state. Unless you can guarantee that no terrorists with be amongst them, we should not take any. 9/11 took very few committed men to kill a lot of people. How caring is it to endanger the very people that put you into office. Once they are here there is no turning back. If anything like Paris happens here, you will be held responsible.

It is irresponsible to allow Syrian refugees into this country and this state. The risk is too great to your country. Colorado especially has too many military installations and targets, to roll out the red carpet for terrorism is insane.

Chickenlooper... You're nothing but a payed politician who has his own agenda and is in the back pocket of Obama..... you're so willing to allow them to come to our state and yet you want to take away our guns..... I stand with the 2nd amendment in our Constitution that allows me to keep and bear arms against my enemies.... we will not be sitting ducks.

Granted, Hickenlooper has received a few supportive messages, too. One reads, "Thank you for not giving in to fear but doing what is right and humane. Unless a Native American, we are all here by the grace of immigration." Another states, "Thanks for standing up against hate and fear. Thanks for saying you will not close Colorado to refugees from terror and war."

Nonetheless, the number of attaboy notes are far outnumbered by items opposing the admission of Syrian refugees to Colorado, making Hickenlooper's stand as bold as it is politically divisive.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts