A great deal has been written and argued about the fact that 23 Syrian refugees have recently been resettled in Victorville. Some have made the argument that public officials — including members of the county Board of Supervisors and others at the highest level — should have alerted the citizens of San Bernardino County that these refugees had been relocated here. I want to make it clear that none of us in county government are ever advised by the federal government that international refugees are being placed in our jurisdictions. Not only are we not alerted to the fact, but we are not in a position to stop any such relocation.
I am very much aware that the issue of refugee resettlement from the Middle East is a “hot-button topic” for many people in our communities. I would like it to be understood that my job is to ensure the safety of those very communities — something I will do to the fullest extent of my legal, institutional and personal powers. At the same time, it should also be understood that those who have been placed in our county, through no decision of their own, have individual rights that I am sworn to protect. Elected officials here were not forewarned of their arrival, and we have no power to remove them. My duty is to guard the security of all persons who find themselves in San Bernardino County and to enforce the laws. That, I promise you, I will do.
(source: John McMahon San Bernardino County Sheriff)