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Local Lawmakers Inundated with Messages Urging them to Oppose Sy - KOAM TV 7

Local Lawmakers Inundated with Messages Urging them to Oppose Syrian Refugees

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     A government database shows twenty-nine governors are asking the president not to send Syrian refugees to their states.

     The concern is that ISIS terrorists might be among them.

     But  Missouri Governor Jay Nixon is not among the governors asking to exclude the refugees.

     That's prompted people to contact local legislators.

Representative Mike Kelley of the 172th district says, "I have never had anything that’s blown up like this has where people are saying please do anything to stop this." 

Rep. Kelley sent a letter to the governor asking him to stand with governors from surrounding states who are against accepting Syrian refugees.

 Kelley says, "I think it’s showing state’s rights. We have the right to protect our citizens. We take an oath of office that we will do so."

His post has received more  than five hundred likes and two hundred plus shares on Facebook.

Rep. Charlie Davis is also hearing from constituents.

Both hear  similar concerns.

Kelley says, "It’s not that they don’t want to be compassionate and don’t want to help people. But randomly letting thousands of people into this country, that are coming from a terrorist  cell country,  without having any way  to vette that they’re not terrorist."

“Syria  does not have a database of their citizens,” says Representative Charlie Davis of the 162nd district. He says, “If they're not in a database,  if there’s no record, what does biometrics do? What does doing a background check do?  They're not listed. And what concerns me more is the thousands of blank passports they have found among the refugees."

It’s not just local lawmakers hearing from residents, some are contacting the governor directly.

Like Joshua Bard who says, "We do have a voice and we should use our voice." Bard feels for those who need help, but fears infiltration by terrorists.  He says, "They have it out for us. We know they do. How can they not want to do it through a Trojan horse style. It’s the way it is.

Both lawmakers feel there are better options than bringing refugees to the United States.

Davis says, "You have all these Arab countries that are the wealthiest  countries in the world; Saudi Arabia, Egypt. They’ve got places they can take in these refugees house them. Why do they need to come to state of Missouri where they've not  been vetted, and  where we have no idea how many coming across into our nation that could be terrorist

Governor Jay Nixon says it's a federal issue and called on them to implement the strongest possible safeguards to protect the nation.

     Local immigration lawyer Steve Hays says the federal government has full authority over rules of immigration.

     But local  representatives believe the president can place refugees only on federal property, like a military base, if the state objects.

     29 Syrian refugees have already resettled in St. Louis. 

     They've been there since March sponsored by a charity.

Rep. Kelley says he’s seeking a special session on the issue to force the Governor to stand with others. Rep. Davis says  safety is the biggest concern but cost is a factor. He says under refugee resettlement, the Syrians would be able to qualify for a number of benefits including food stamps, cash and health care for a period of time.

Click here for a link to a social services explanation of the benefits.

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