Perillo and McGorty: Unwise for Connecticut to accept Syrian refugees

With the announcement of Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy that he intends to receive 1,500 refugees fleeing violence in Syria, State Representatives Jason Perillo (R-113) and Ben McGorty (R-122) have called for a reversal of that decision in consideration of public safety concerns. Noting the inability of the state to properly screen these incoming refugees, and the heightened security concerns raised by Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris, France, they say it is unwise for Connecticut to accept the refugees at this time.

“While we have great compassion for the refugees, most of whom are displaced families fleeing a war-torn region, the safety of American citizens must be paramount,” said Rep. Perillo.  “It has been confirmed that at least one and maybe more of the ISIS terrorists who perpetrated the cowardly atrocities in Paris last week posed as refugees to access Europe, then France.  Our state does not have the capacity to evaluate the veracity of who they claim they are, or determine if they have no criminal history or have contagious disease.  Federal immigration policy must be upheld to determine that.  We should exercise great caution, and always err on the side of public safety.”

“We should not be too hasty in our drive to welcome these refugees to Connecticut,” said Rep. McGorty.  “Even with proper federal vetting being conducted, the government of Syria is degraded in such a way that verification of the identities and histories of the refugees is most likely compromised.  The governor, and more importantly the president, needs to reexamine this policy and put the safety of our citizens first.”

Both legislators acknowledged and support the status of the United States as a nation of immigrants, but say we are also a nation of laws.  They noted that a bipartisan group of half the nation’s governors have made the right decision for their residents by turning these refugees away.  They urged the governor to reconsider and follow their wise policies.

The president has authority to admit refugees from foreign nations who face persecution.  Should the president choose to accept these refugees under this legal pretext, he has an obligation to ensure the safety of Americans is preserved, they said.