Mississippi refuses Syrian refugees
Nearly 2,000 Syrian refugees have been admitted to the United States since January, and Friday’s attacks in Paris have raised widespread concern on whether terrorists have infiltrated the United States among the refugees.
The Migration and Refugee Center in Biloxi has not been asked to accept any Syrian refugees yet. The Center only places about 12 refugees a year into our area from various parts of the world, but refugees must have family on the Gulf Coast. Program director, Magda LeLeaux, says, “We have to contact the family member to make sure that they would like to accept the responsibility for a family member. And if they refuse, well then this person is not coming to our area."
While the Center does not traditionally resettle refugees without ties to the area, a statement released by the Catholic Diocese of Biloxi today, says if they’re called upon to assist Syrian refugees, they would not turn their backs. "We have to open our arms, open our hearts, open our mind to help people who have escaped a brutal regime in their country," says LeLeaux.
Today, President Barack Obama said the United States will continue with the plan to resettle up to 10,000 refugees in the country in 2016; no one knowing where they will end up. National director of intelligence, James Clapper, said back in September that while our screening process is pretty aggressive, ISIS infiltrating operatives is a huge concern.
Senator Roger Wicker, weighing in on the issue, says “If the director of national intelligence can’t rule it out then it’s foolish for us to engage in accepting these refugees. It’s not a matter of we don’t want to do it. It’s just that we can’t afford to do it."
Senator Wicker agrees with Governor Bryant’s statement, saying he will do everything humanly possible to stop the federal administration from placing Syrian refugees into Mississippi.