Should We Welcome Syrian Refugees to West Virginia?

Nov 24, 2015

Syrian children playing in refugee camp.
Credit lifelinesyria.ca

W.Va. Delegate Joshua Nelson, R-Boone, has launched a petition seeking to stop Syrian refugees from coming into America, at least until better safeguards are in place.

His experience serving in the military informed his decision, he said.

"Most people in that area just want to live peaceful lives. I've served with Middle Eastern people, Islamic people, that had my back," Nelson said

"But, in regards to what happened in Paris, these guys are posing as Syrian refugees. Until we are certain that (screening) process is adequate, we have to be very careful."

Meanwhile, a fellow W.Va. Republican had the opposite reaction. Former Del. John Ellem, R-Wood, is willing to host a Syrian refugee family in his home. Ellem is of Syrian and Lebanese descent.

"Fear can be a powerful emotion. You collectively start labeling people," Ellem said. "Syrians are not ISIS. They're the victims of ISIS...Don't let fear overwhelm you."

What do you think? Should West Virginia welcome Syrian refugees at this time?

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