Governor McCrory joins list of governors who want to refuse Syri - | WBTV Charlotte

Governor McCrory joins list of governors who want to refuse Syrian refugees

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Days after Catholic Charities welcomed their first Syrian family to Charlotte as part of a federal program to help refugees Governor Pat McCrory says he wants the President to cease sending Syrian refugees to the state.

McCrory joins a growing list of Republican governors who say they do not want refugees from Syria. McCrory said he made the decision in light of the recent terrorist attack in Paris, which killed more than 100 people and injured more than 300.

The terrorist group ISIS has claimed responsibility and intelligence reports suggest one of the attacks may have posed as a Syrian refugee.

“I am making a request of the President of the United States to cease allowing immigrants coming in from Syria until we get thorough verification that all the immigrants coming in are not safety risks,” said Governor McCrory.

He said he feels compassion for the people who are fleeing ISIS, but also has to guard the safety of North Carolinians.

“I empathize with these people who are dealing with unimaginable atrocities from ISIS. I care for these people. but what worries me is that some of these people could actually be ISIS,” said the Governor.

McCrory said there’s been a lack of communication and information from the federal government about who the refugees are, their backgrounds, and their locations.

He said his team is now requesting that information from the federal government concerning the refugees who are already here.

McCrory said from January 2015 to October of 2015, 59 Syrian refugees have been resettled in North Carolina.

"The Syrian refugee program should be suspended until the American people are satisfied that they know exactly who the President is admitting into the country via this program," Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence said. "There is simply too much at stake and the security of the American people should be our top priority."

“The refugees that came to Charlotte last week, they don't want to have anything to do with ISIS, just like we don’t want to have anything to do with ISIS. We're on the same page,” said David Hains, Communications Director for the Diocese of Charlotte which oversees Catholic Charities, the non-profit group helping the Charlotte family.

The family includes a father, who was a grocer in Syria, his wife and their five children.

“We are committed to fulfilling the call from the Gospel to helping refugees who come our way,” said Hains.

Church World Services, another non-profit which helps refugee families resettle, called the Governor’s response a “knee jerk reaction.”

““For these governors to falsely assert that the U.S. refugee admissions program places their states at risk is utterly preposterous. Refugees are the single
most scrutinized and vetted individuals to travel to the United States, undergoing more than seven security checks by intelligence agencies, including biometric tests, medical screenings and in-person interviews with Department of Homeland Security officials.

To blame Syrian refugees, who are themselves fleeing the horrors of ISIS, for the acts of their perpetrators, is just plain wrong,” said Church World Service President and CEO, the Rev. John L. McCullough.

An interpreter for the newly arrived Syrian family in Charlotte says there are very disappointed in the Governor’s response.

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