Patterson Demands Pontiac Not Accept Syrian Refugees

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson urged Pontiac Mayor Deirdre Waterman to discontinue her support of housing Syrian refugees in buildings owned by Live In Pontiac LLC and Pontiac Community Investment LLC in a letter he sent to her office today (pictured below). Patterson cited the lax immigration policies of the federal government and the inability to guaranty there will be no ISIS infiltrators among the refugees as reasons the project should not move forward.

Patterson Refugees“Any program such as the acceptance of refugees from Syria under current conditions constitutes an immediate threat of imminent danger,” said Patterson, who oversees Homeland Security for Oakland County’s nearly 1.3 million residents. “I am not overreacting to the tragedy that befell Paris. I am pointing out that lax immigration policies contributed to this terror.”

“While the Syrian Refugee Village may have been a well-intentioned program initially, can you or your partners from Live in Pontiac, LLC… give the residents of Pontiac absolute assurance that the refugees they intend to house in their ‘community’ would not contain one or two ISIS infiltrators? Of course you can’t. Therein lies the risk,” Patterson said.

Patterson acknowledged that Ismael Basha and Malaz Alatassi had Patterson Refugees2good intentions but that he must consider the safety of all Oakland County residents first.

“I don’t question the motives of Basha and Alatassi, both who are Syrian refugees themselves. What’s happening in Syria is nothing short of genocide with an estimated nine million Syrians who have fled their homes in search of a safe haven. I suggest they are blinded by the magnitude of the tragedy,” Patterson said.

“But there is now indisputable evidence (I refer to the Syrian passport recovered in Paris) that the ranks of the refugees have been and will continue to be infiltrated by those who would harm or kill us,” Patterson said. “I owe it to the residents of Oakland County to stop this Syrian Refugee Village from going forward, to send out an alert to the public of what constitutes an imminent threat, and to demand that this project be stopped now.”

Patterson has ordered all departments under the county executive not to support Pontiac, Basha and Alatassi in bringing Syrian refugees to Pontiac. He also has insisted Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner cease his role in the project.

About Rochester Media

Rochester Media publishes The Community Edge digital newsletter of recently posted articles from Rochester Media, a hyper-local news outlet covering all things in and around Rochester, Rochester Hills, and Oakland Township. Send us you press releases and news happenings to


  1. Bruce Fealk says

    I almost feel sorry for conservatives. They are afraid all the time. First they were afraid of a few hard questions from CNBC moderators, now they’re afraid of orphans and widows trying to find a safe place to live.

    This isn’t the America I want to be a part of. Patterson is just plain wrong on this, along with Governor Snyder and the 30 other Republican governors that have said they won’t let Syrian refugees into the state.

    What if that had happened to Steve Jobs, a Syrian refugee? You might not have that iPhone or iPad you like so much.

    When did America start being so afraid? Cowards seem to populate the Republican party.

  2. Ben Schmittdiel says

    I don’t think anyone wants to deny a place of safety and compassion to people in need. The issue is the very real danger posed not only to current residents but even those who are innocents among the refugees. Among the interviews of Paris residents near the apartment recently raided some said they knew these people were dangerous but were afraid to tell police. At this point in time our President does not seem to be capable of recognizing the issues posed and taking action to reasonably assure that we are not simply speaking the terrorism or even of supporting compassionate alternatives such as safe zones within the Middle East. When he does something other than arrogantly pursue his own agendas he may find some support returning.

Speak Your Mind