Bay Ridge

Conservatives urge Cuomo to reject Syrian refugees

November 18, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long says the safety of New York’s citizens should be the governor’s primary concern. Eagle file photo by Paula Katinas
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The governors of 30 states have declared that they will not accept Syrian refugees in the wake of the terrorist attack in Paris on Nov. 13.

The New York State Conservative Party wants Andrew Cuomo to be the 31st.

Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long wrote a letter to Gov. Cuomo on Nov. 17 urging him to reject any move to place Syrian refugees in New York state.

Long, who lives in Bay Ridge, said Cuomo can’t take a chance with the lives of New Yorkers. There is a possibility that some of the refugees might actually be terrorists ready to strike here, he said.

In his letter, Long implored Cuomo to make the safety of New Yorkers his top priority.

“You and I both know New York has been and always will be a prime target of terrorists. We are the crossroads of the world. Lady Liberty stands tall in our harbor and we are a city and state that prides itself on the variety of our neighborhoods. We have never shirked our responsibility to humanity. However, the safety of our citizens must be your foremost concern.

Syrian refugees must not be allowed to settle in New York state or any state in our nation,” Long wrote.

“Why would anyone take the chance of letting in even one radical Islamic extremist?”  Long added.

He maintained that Syrian refugees should be fighting to save their own country back and that the U.S. should be helping them do that.

Cuomo isn’t taking Long’s advice.

On Tuesday, the governor announced that he is willing to accept refugees into New York.

The U.S. has accepted 1,500 refugees from Syria since 2011. But President Barack Obama announced in September that 10,000 will be allowed in starting in 2016.

Syrians have been flooding Europe in recent months, seeking to escape the violence brought about by the Islamic State.

But the humanitarian crisis turned into a major safety concern for many countries when authorities investigating the terrorist attacks in Paris revealed that at least one of the attackers entered Western Europe by posing as a refugee.

There are growing signs of a backlash against Obama’s refugee policy in Washington.

There was movement on Congress this week on legislation seeking to halt entry of Syrian refugees into the U.S. so that the federal government can audit security and background check protocols.

U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan said he would support such legislation.

“The world changed on Nov.13. We must not be naïve about the risk of radical Islamic terror in the United States,” Donovan (R-C-Southwest Brooklyn-Staten Island) said in a statement.

One bill, the Refugee Resettlement Oversight and Security Act, would require approval by the House and Senate before any refugees are admitted into the country. It would also permit Congress to block any resettlement plan put forward by the president.

“America has always been a compassionate nation, but our country’s security comes first. The solution to the refugee crisis lies in ridding the world of ISIS and its followers — no refugee program will solve that,” Donovan stated.

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