American Family Association talk show host Sandy Rios, like her colleague Bryan Fischer, enjoys repeating right-wing material — often based on email chains — as absolute fact without any evidence. Rios, who has previously repeated the widely debunked rumor (which probably originated from this chain email) that Obamacare has a specific exemption for Muslim-Americans, on her radio program today asserted that President Obama kicked off his first term as President by resettling thousands of Palestinian refugees in the U.S.
She made the false claim while criticizing the Michigan Department of Human Services for having an Arabic-language food assistance application and help-line. Rios also warned that Michigan is “brimming with Islamists”:
You may remember that President Obama ordered the resettling of thousands of Palestinians right after he became president, he brought them over at our expense and I don’t know if they all went to Michigan but tons of them did. Of course before that Michigan, certainly the Detroit area is just brimming with Islamists; it’s pretty frightening actually. I think it is frightening because they are Islamists and they are in the heart of our country, and now they are qualified for food stamps as well. We know that in Michigan, Muslim men have multiple wives even though we don’t allow that in this country. They do still practice it so they go in and sign up for food assistance…. Is Arabic going to be the new language—how many languages are we going to have that are going to be officially acknowledged in America?
Of course, her assertion about Obama resettling thousands of Palestinians was based on a discredited chain email.
As both FactCheck.org and Snopes.com point out, Obama—like President George W. Bush before him—did authorize funding to help Palestinian refugees, but not to resettle them in the United States. The money would go to groups providing emergency food, medical and housing aid, but did not include provisions on migration or resettlement. In fact, the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, which was in charge of the money, told FactCheck.org, “We don’t resettle out of the West Bank and Gaza, full stop.”
Since Michigan has close to 200,000 Arab-American residents [PDF], it isn’t unreasonable that the state has an Arabic-language food assistance form.
The majority of Arab-Americans are Christian, but of course the facts wouldn’t stop Rios from using the first myth about mass-resettlement of Palestinians to create a second conspiracy theory: that Obama is now giving food stamps to radical, polygamous Islamists.