SC lawmaker, Upstate council members oppose Syrian refugees comi - FOX Carolina 21

SC lawmaker, Upstate council members oppose Syrian refugees coming to area

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Syrian refugees fleeing conflict (CNN) Syrian refugees fleeing conflict (CNN)

A congressman who represents part of the Upstate said he does not support a refugee resettlement program that could potentially allow Syrian refugees into the area. 

Representative Jeff Duncan grilled Federal Bureau of Investigations Director James Comey last week on the program, questioning the government's efficacy in vetting refugees that come to the United States and citing concerns that Islamic State militants could infiltrate refugee groups.

"I will tell you folks in South Carolina are very concerned about our inability to vet properly the refugees that are coming," Duncan said in the Oct. 21 hearing 

Local county councils have agreed with that feeling. Pickens County recently decided to not allow Syrian refugees into the area through the resettlement program, which is active in Spartanburg and Greenville counties. 

Greenville County councilman Joe Dill said the committee is set to take up the issue in next week's meeting. 

"They still left a lot of questions yet to be answered," Dill said. "We don't have a clue what kind of gangsters they are, whether they are good people, bad people or what."

Dill added that the federal government has not offered enough information on the refugee resettlement program for council to feel comfortable. 

Former pastor Jason Lee disagrees with that stance. He directs World Relief in Spartanburg and has seen refugees from other countries succeed through the program. He said Syrian refugees are not slated to come to the area right now, but he would welcome them. 

"There is no such thing as an unvetted refugee that comes to the U.S.," Lee said. "Over 3 million have come through the program, and none of those have ever been arrested and convicted and sentenced for committing terrorist attacks on U.S. soil."

Duncan said ISIS has threatened to infiltrate groups of Syrian refugees fleeing the civil war there, and he said that is a threat that should be taken seriously. 

Comey said last week that "there is no risk-free process" when it comes to bringing refugees into the U.S. 

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