Local advocates press for Syrian refugees as questions arise after Paris terrorist attacks
Mayor Bill de Blasio doubled down on his support for brining in Syrian refugees days before Friday's coordinated attacks.
Immigration advocates called on the de Blasio administration to remain steadfast in its commitment to bring refugees from Syria as investigators abroad link the war-torn country to Friday's terrorist attacks in Paris.
Early reports of a Syrian passport found near the site of one of the attackscoordinated by followers of the Islamic Statein Paris led to Poland refusing to accept refugees, although it remained unclear whether the passport was authentic.
"Now is the time for diverse communities to come together in a demonstration of resilience and strength against these attacks," Steven Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, told Metro.
"Governments can best do this by maintaining a compassionate and welcoming approach to innocent people fleeing difficult and complicated conflicts," Choi added. "We must not conflate the ISIS with refugees fleeing violence."
In September, Mayor Bill de Blasio joined 18 mayors in a letter to the White House asking for the United States to open its doors to at least 10,000 Syrian refugees, and which President Barak Obama agreed to do .
A spokeswoman for de Blasio refused to comment on the mayor's position on accepting more refugees after Friday's attacks,and said the mayor would instead address the issue on Monday.
Last week, however, de Blasio doubled down on his support for New York City hosting Syrian refugees.
"It is something that has generated tremendous feeling across a lot of different communities of this city because this is one of the worst humanitarian crisis we’ve seen in quite a while," de Blasio told reporters at an unrelated press conference.
"New York City will find a way to do something meaningful here and send a message all around the world that everyone has to be a part of the solution," the mayor added.
Meanwhile, the Obama administration affirmed on Sunday it would still accept Syrian refugees despite increasing pressure from Congressional Republicans to close the borders.
"[Obama] should absolutely suspend it unless they can show 100 percent that a person is not involved with ISIS, because right now there’s no responsible way to do the vetting," Long Island Rep. Peter King said on Fox News Sunday.
"There’s virtually no vetting," he added. "There are no databases in Syria. There are no government records."