Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson attacked religious groups advocating for the United States to accept more Syrian refugees into the country, calling them “phony” and suggesting they are “criminals.”
During the September 29 broadcast of his show, Mickelson hosted Roy Beck, executive director of the nativist anti-immigrant group NumbersUSA -- and according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, former “Washington editor of The Social Contract, a quarterly journal that has published articles by 'white nationalists'” -- to talk about the Syrian refugee crisis and religious groups asking the United States government to increase the number allowed to resettle here.
During the interview, Mickelson said Beck was “way too nice” about the situation, and went on to repeatedly call the religious groups “phony” and say he thought some were “criminals.”
While Mickelson did not specifically name which religious organizations he thought may be criminals, he referred to Jewish, Lutheran, Quaker, and Catholic organizations generally, saying refugees should be forced to “live in their neighborhoods” and attend “their schools.” After Beck claimed that local churches and church members often can't meet the needs of refugees they support, Mickelson said, “We ought to foreclose on their property.”
According to Reuters, the organizations that support accepting refugees include the Church World Service, “that represents 37 Christian denominations,” and Catholic, Lutheran, and Jewish organizations:
Church World Service, a global humanitarian organization that represents 37 Christian denominations, has called on the government to take in 100,000 Syrians over the next year, said Jen Smyers, who works on the group's immigration and refugee program.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, and the Jewish refugee assistance agency HIAS along with secular groups have also backed that figure.