After Kyrsten Sinema's Vote on Syrian Refugees, Social Media Explodes With Outrage

Arizona Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema voted this week to prevent the resettlement of any Syrian or Iraqi refugees until tighter vetting processes are implemented, and if the response on social media is any indication, the Democrat from District Nine just lost a lot of supporters.

Sinema shocked many in Arizona by voting for the Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act — she was one of only 47 Democrats to vote for it — and the Internet was almost immediately flooded with an overwhelmingly negative response:

"I could not be more disappointed in my representative. Your vote shows you only vote for what will further your career. I thought I had an advocate in Congress, I do not," one of her constituents, Dean Roskosz, wrote on Sinema's Facebook wall.

Another constituent, Susan Bovee wrote: "I am absolutely appalled that you supported this unnecessary and xenophobic legislation. I can only take comfort in the fact that your poor judgment will be corrected by Obama's likely veto. How is it that you ALONE among Arizona's Democrats saw fit to support this odious bill? Trust me, I'll be working hard this next year to find a better Dem candidate for the 9th than you."

And the list of furious responses goes on and on. 

Sinema, a former social worker and previous champion of refugees, campaigned in 2012 as a super left-leaning liberal, but she has taken a much more centrist stance since obtaining office — social media now is full of references to her being a DINO (Democrat in name only). 

Whether it's her reluctance to support the Iran Nuclear Deal earlier this summer or joining the Blue Dog Coalition in Congress last year, Sinema's actions are seen by many as an attempt to pander to her less-liberal constituents and evidence that she's nothing more than "a real politician" with higher political aspirations. 

(To be fair, there were a few social media responses from people supporting the congresswoman's vote.)

So why did Sinema vote for the SAFE Act? She says she did it because: “The Islamic State is a legitimate, immediate threat to the United States. Congress and the Administration have a duty to keep our country safe from terrorism, and this legislation provides an added level of security to our robust refugee vetting process."

A statement from her office adds: "Welcoming refugees is part of America’s legacy, and we must continue to be a safe haven for the most vulnerable in our world," but strengthening "our already thorough refugee screening process" is necessary "so we can both keep our country safe and continue to shelter those in need."

With so many angry social media responses to choose from, here's a taste of what Sinema's liberal supporters — er, former supporters — think of her vote: 

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Miriam is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Miriam Wasser