Conn. welcomes refugee family rejected by Indiana

Associated Press

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A family of Syrian refugees rejected by Gov. Mike Pence, of Indiana, has found a warmer welcome right here in Connecticut. Gov. Malloy was there to personally greet the family of three as they arrived in the state.

“This is a country built by immigrants,” said Chris George, executive director of Integrated and Refugee Services, in New Haven.

George calls refugees fleeing war-torn homelands today’s immigrants. He runs IRIS, which is charged by the State Department with resettling refugees fleeing wars coming from the world over.

“This is what we stand for. This is what makes us strong, makes us proud,” George said. “We’ve got to do right even during times of trouble.”

After the terrorist attacks in Paris, a national uprising against Syrian refugees has taken hold. Many governors do not want to take in Syrian refugees, including the governor of Indiana, who turned away a family soon to land in his state.

“In moments of trial and tribulation, some people will lead in the wrong direction,” Governor Dan Malloy said. “Hopefully some will lead in the right direction. And that’s what we’re trying to do in Connecticut.”

That refugee family is now here in Connecticut. Several agencies scrambled to make new arrangements and with the help of IRIS, the family of three found a warmer welcome in New Haven. Malloy personally welcomed the mother, father and young son as they arrived.

“We’re not in a position to take everybody from Syria, but Connecticut should take it’s share,” Malloy said.

Malloy was briefed by White House officials regarding the vetting process for refugees before they’re approved for U.S. resettlement. He said the success rate since 9/11 of our national vetting process, done by multiple federal agencies, is proof that the system is working.

“(Since 9/11), 750 thousand refugees have been invited to our country,” George said. “Not a single one has been arrested on terrorism charges.”

House Republicans plan to bring a bill to the floor Thursday in Washington, that would increase scrutiny on refugees from Syria and Iraq. But the real showdown could come next month, if the increased scrutiny bill is attached to a federal spending bill. So that spending bill could create another debate about a government shutdown in the next few weeks, this time revolving around the refugee issue.

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