News Ticker

Obama plans for more Syrian refugees – and so does Phoenix

Hundreds could come to area as president aims to admit 10,000 amid opposition

By Susan Powell –

President Barack Obama has plans to permit 10,000 Syrian refugees to enter the country over the next few months.

In September 2015, both the president and Secretary of State John Kerry announced the U.S. would increase it present refugee cap from 70,000 to 85,000 in 2016 and 100,000 for 2017. This increase in the cap would allow the additional 10,000 Syrians without affecting the number of refugees coming into the country from other parts of the world.

GOP front-runner Donald Trump said he’d send refugees back home if he became president because terrorists could pose as refugees.

Trump isn’t alone in his thinking, as some GOP lawmakers are also against the idea of increasing the number of Syrian refugees entering the country.

Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., House Judiciary Committee chairman, and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Senate Judiciary Committee chairman said in a joint written statement, that terrorist groups such as ISIS have made it perfectly clear that they’ll enter the country by way of the refugee crisis.

The pair said Obama’s plan would allow another 10,000 Syrians in without a foolproof measure in place that terrorists can’t get into the country. Kerry has said that security checks would be maintained.

Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar is also against allowing more Syrians into the country. He has expressed that the country needs to focus on the reason Syrians are leaving their country in great numbers. Gosar, a Republican who represents District 4, believes the focus needs to be on resettling them in areas that are near their home so they can perhaps go back one day.

Gosar reportedly thinks the administration doesn’t have an adequate strategy to fight ISIS and other terrorist groups and defeat them. Gosar said it’s the failure in leadership that has caused refugees to leave their homes in the first place.

Phoenix ready for influx

According to various Arizona resettlement organizations, Phoenix is one of the best places to live in a country with a long history of offering safe haven to refugees who want to rebuild their lives.

Resettlement organizations said Phoenix officials have assisted thousands of Iraqi refugees who share similar culture and language.

When the refugees arrive they’re going to need help getting past the warlike conditions and trauma they endured while escaping their homeland, said Catholic Charities Director Joanne Morales, to the Arizona Republic. Morales said the people of Phoenix are extremely prepared for this situation since the area has worked with people from other worn-torn countries such as Iraq, the Republic of Congo and Somalia.

Phoenix Union High School District spokesman Craig Pletenik told the Arizona Republic that  the district has no issue helping Syrian students. He said there are around 300 of about 27,500 students already enrolled who are refugees – five of them being from Syria. He said if a teacher needs to be moved or another class needs to be added, the school district can do it.

These and other organizations believe that more than 400 Syrian refugees could enter the area in the next year.

The president’s plan is geared to help ease the worst humanitarian crisis since the Second World War.

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