An Ohio-based tea party activist is giving mixed reviews about Governor Mike DeWine's (R) decision to allow Christian charities to receive taxpayer funds to help settle persecuted refugees in the state.
On Christmas Eve, DeWine informed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Ohio would continue to take in refugees that religious organizations like Catholic Charities and Catholic Social Services have taken under their wing and successfully assimilated.
"These are people who are being persecuted around the globe who are mostly Christian, if not all Christian," explains Tom Zawistowski, president of the We the People Convention and the Ohio Citizens PAC. "These are not illegal immigrants; these are refugees, and we've since learned that they are therefore legal. They are not American citizens yet, but they're legal, and they're not going to be placed in one community to help change the balance of power as far as voting."
But Zawistowski says the problem is these charitable organizations are being paid an average of $15,000 in taxpayer funds to settle a single refugee.
"The Catholic Charities profit got about $5,000 of that. Why are taxpayers paying for that," the tea party activist wonders. "If you want to bring refugees in here who are Christians, why isn't the Catholic Church paying for that? Is that how you help Christians? By taking tax money from citizens who didn't agree to this? We don't think so."
So Zawistowski has some serious questions about this arrangment.
"We want to help Christians who are persecuted," he asserts. "In the Middle East, they've been slaughtering by the thousands. We need to save those people, but we need to do it in a way that meets our values, and we're not so sure this is it."