New York Times says Arizona is a haven for refugees

The article could be called “When victim groups clash, the New York Times has a tough choice.” It begins:

PHOENIX — Here in Arizona, illegal immigrants get the boot. But refugees get the welcome mat.

Even as officials rage at what they have called the “invasion” of illegal immigrants, mostly Mexicans, Arizona has welcomed thousands of legal immigrants from such grief-torn lands as Somalia, Myanmar and Iraq, and is known for treating them unusually well.

Indeed, the scorched expanse of the Phoenix valley can seem like a giant resettlement lab. Bosnians trim the watered lawns of the Arizona Biltmore, and Karenni speakers have their own prenatal class at St. Joseph’s hospital. A Sudanese goat farmer is thriving in a desert slaughterhouse built with a micro-enterprise loan. (He is glad to demonstrate his skill in turning goats to goat meat.)

Oh. So Arizona doesn’t really hate immigrants. An amazing admission from the New York Times. It goes on:

Only three states accepted more refugees on a per capita basis over the past six years. Arizona took nearly twice as many refugees per capita as its liberal neighbor, California, and more than twice as many per capita as New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

“In the degree of welcome and receptivity we see, I would certainly put Arizona at the top,” said Robert Carey, a vice president at the International Rescue Committee, which resettles refugees in a dozen states.

The work contrasts with the state’s renown as the scourge of illegal immigrants, whom critics blame for driving up crime, stealing jobs and burdening hospitals and schools.

“We’re not anti-immigrant — never have been,” said State Senator Russell Pearce, a Republican who is a leading critic of illegal immigration. “But we expect people to follow the law.”

Of course the story has a little section bashing Sheriff Arpaio, who

conducts frequent raids on immigrant neighborhoods, stopping people for minor infractions and reviewing their immigration status. He says these raids have netted hundreds of illegal immigrants. Critics say they spread fear and harass legal residents.

But in the end, amazingly, the refugees trump the illegal aliens.

Refugees seem slow to sympathize. The two groups often compete for jobs or housing, and some refugees say Latino gangs have preyed on them.

The United States “stands for law and order,” said Wissam Salman, 35, a hotel housekeeper from Iraq. “If they don’t look for these people it will be a disaster.”

Ibrahim Swara-Dahab, the Sudanese goat farmer, agrees.

“I have some problems with the Mexican people; they stole my goats,” he said. “If they don’t have documents, they should go back to their country.”

Hat tip: Gateway Pundit

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