International Policy Center Home Page

Waltz op-ed criticizes governor's efforts to halt Syrian refugee resettlement efforts

November 23, 2015

Susan Waltz's November 23 Lansing State Journal op-ed, “Waltz: Stop adding insult to injury, welcome Syrian refugees,” calls Governor Snyder’s hesitation to admit Syrian refugees “misguided.” 

She explains that refugees are a prioritized category of people admitted explicitly and exclusively on the basis of humanitarian need. They are also the most heavily vetted of any immigrant population.

Refugee status can be granted for those who require legal or physical protection, have urgent medical needs, have been the subject of violence or torture, or to females separated from their families who are at risk of extreme hardship, according to the op-ed.

“There is only one appropriate response,” said Waltz of the small fraction of those who are ever selected for resettlement. “We should be welcoming Syrian refugees, not adding insult to the multiple injuries they have already suffered.”

Susan Waltz is both a scholar and a practitioner in the field of international human rights. Her most research has focused on the historical origins of international human rights instruments and the political processes that produced them. From 1993-1999 Waltz was a member of the International Executive Committee of Amnesty International, and in 1996 she became the first American to chair the organization's international governing board. For several years she chaired a working group on arms transfers for Amnesty International—USA, and from 2009-2013 she served on AI-USA's Board of Directors.