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Lehigh Valley Lawmakers Issue Statement on Syrian Refugee Issue
11/18/2015
HARRISBURG – Members of the Lehigh Valley Republican Delegation in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives today issued the following statement regarding Gov. Tom Wolf’s announcement that the Commonwealth will continue to welcome Syrian refugees.

Members of the delegation include Reps. Gary Day (R-Lehigh/Berks), Joe Emrick (R-Northampton), Marcia Hahn (R-Northampton), Julie Harhart (R-Lehigh/Northampton), Ryan Mackenzie (R-Berks/Lehigh) and Justin Simmons (R-Lehigh/Montgomery/Northampton).

“We have great concern about the governor’s decision to move forward with the continued acceptance of Syrian refugees. Since his announcement earlier this week, many of our constituents have not only been surprised by his action, but are fearful for the safety of themselves and their families.

“Providing a home in Pennsylvania to these refugees in a time of such uncertainty jeopardizes our fundamental responsibility – public safety. While we do understand the importance of reacting with compassion toward our fellow man, we must also not be so quick to disregard the will of Pennsylvania citizens. Their interest, concerns and safety must always be our top priority as leaders of this state.

“The governor may wish to act with compassion, but rest assured, ISIS has no compassion and will stop at nothing to bring terror into our country however it can. ISIS is not contained, as President Barack Obama had wished; and not only is it not contained, it has publically stated that a terrorist attack in the United States is coming.

“Furthermore, national security officials have expressed serious concerns that ISIS members will infiltrate our country as refugees. They have testified that “gaps” remain in our ability to check incoming refugees for terrorist connections. Preliminary investigations suggest that one of the bombers in the recent terror attack in Paris was a refugee who emigrated.

“So far, more than 30 governors have declared that they will not open their state to the Syrian refugees at this time. We are urging Gov. Wolf to reverse his decision and do the same. It is with great caution and concern that we respectfully implore him to wait until we know that the well-being of the citizens of our Commonwealth will not be at risk and to not allow for the possibility of what has happened in Europe to come to our doorsteps.

“In the end, we understand this remains a federal issue. But with the FBI director and other federal officials expressing deep concerns about the vetting process of refugees, we believe now is the time to take a step back and allow the federal government to conduct a thorough review and ensure that those refugees who seek no harm are the ones we admit into the Commonwealth.”

Emrick, Hahn, Harhart, Mackenzie and Simmons have joined nearly 100 of their colleagues in signing on to a letter to the governor expressing these same concerns. The letter is available for viewing here.

Lehigh Valley House Republican Delegation
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Andy Briggs
717.260.6474
abriggs@pahousegop.com
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