Americans from all walks of life berated US congressperson and Montana State Representative Matt Rosendale for his anti-refugee diatribe against the resettlement of 75 Afghan refugees in his state.
In a tweet on Thursday, Rosendale said that it was unlikely that the refugees were properly vetted and critiqued President Joe Biden’s administration that it had grossly mismanaged the Afghanistan crisis. He added that Biden’s ‘incompetence’ could not justify leaving Americans unprotected.
Rosendale maintained that the refugees should be settled in countries that were more attuned to their ‘values’ and ‘culture’.
Today I learned that 75 refugees from Afghanistan will be arriving in Montana. I strongly oppose the resettlement of these Afghan nationals in Montana.
— Matt Rosendale (@RepRosendale) September 16, 2021
Several called Rosendale’s scathing remarks on refugees ‘un-American’. US Congressman Dean Phillips said that it was ‘un-American’ to launch a tirade against immigrants, especially ones who aided the US in the War on Terror in Afghanistan.
I can’t think of anything less American than rejecting immigrants – particularly ones who helped us during a war. https://t.co/P1SUISREkh
— Rep. Dean Phillips 🇺🇸 (@RepDeanPhillips) September 17, 2021
Lawyer Tristan Snell also labelled Rosendale ‘un-American’ and said that he strongly opposed him holding office in the US government.
Today I learned that 1 congressman from Montana is an un-American xenophobe. I strongly oppose the continued presence of this person in Washington, DC. https://t.co/QZv8UnUgM4
— Tristan Snell (@TristanSnell) September 16, 2021
Congressman Sean Casten was perturbed by Rosendale’s fixation on 75 refugees being too many. Casten said he learned that 75 Montanans went to Chicago for a gathering and even though the city wasn’t as large as Montana, the outflux of 75 people escaped Rosendale’s notice.
Today I learned that 75 Montanans were in Chicago for a wedding shower. Which was weird because it's a tiny number and you didn't even notice and we judge people by the content of their character and Chicago doesn't span 147,000 square miles.
But you be you, Matt. https://t.co/54M0768jhv
— Sean Casten (@SeanCasten) September 17, 2021
Veterans who served in US backed wars were also displeased with Rosendale. US Congressman and former Iraq War veteran Ruben Gallego said the Capitol Hill siege rebels from January 6 were the real ‘terrorists’ that Rosendale should be bothered about. Gallego referred to the insurrection at Capitol Hill by former president Donald Trump’s supporters and wondered how many Montanans contributed to that mayhem.
How many “native born” Montanans participated in the January 6th insurrection? Those are the real terrorists you have to worry about. Oh yeah stop being a bigot. https://t.co/9hZcBj3vbF
— Ruben Gallego (@RubenGallego) September 17, 2021
Journalist Kyle Griffin added that Rosendale’s fellow Republicans knew he was wrong. Griffin quoted Senator Steve Daines who said that Afghan refugees were welcome because they loved the US and deserved a fighting chance to flee the Taliban.
Even his fellow Montana Republican knows Rosendale is wrong:
Sen. Steve Daines released a statement arguing for the acceptance of evacuees: "These are refugees that love America." He added: "it is our duty to ensure that they are allowed a way to get away from the Taliban." https://t.co/JtpEJMcI3K
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 17, 2021
Human rights lawyer Qasim Rashid posted a map of Montana and hinted at Rosendale’s hypocrisy since the land belonged to Native Americans originally and did not belong to modern day US to begin with.
Today I learned about the map of Montana in 1885 under Native Americans, 4 years before Montana became a state & that land was stolen from Native Americans.
— Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@QasimRashid) September 17, 2021
Lawyer and journalist Amee Vanderpool took a sardonic jab at Rosendale and said that the tourism industry was probably real pleased with him for rejecting outsiders.
Hear that everyone – Montana has no hospitality and does not care for any visits from outsiders. I'm sure the tourist industry in your state LOVES you, Congressman. https://t.co/AsJqjrUZLs
— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) September 17, 2021
Journalist Josh Mankiewicz chimed in and said it was strange that people who ‘whined’ about US leaving Afghans behind, didn’t really care for them.
Weird, those who whine about abandoning the Afghans apparently don’t really mean it. https://t.co/j3b4CglDkz
— Josh Mankiewicz (@JoshMankiewicz) September 17, 2021
Mankiewicz made a possible reference to the general critique that Republicans have levelled against Biden in the wake of US departure from Afghanistan. As chaos unfolded in Kabul on August 15, many Republicans lambasted Biden for not paying attention to Afghans who had assisted the US in their mission.
Republican Party member and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnel had said that Afghans looked to the US to evacuate them. McConnel had further said that the US owed it to Afghans to lead them to safety in America or elsewhere.