Syrian refugees not in mid-Missouri; some want to keep it that way

1 year 3 months 1 week ago November 17, 2015 Nov 17, 2015 Tuesday, November 17 2015 Tuesday, November 17, 2015 2:14:00 PM CST in News
By: Andrea Gonzales, KOMU 8 Reporter & Steve Dawson, KOMU 8 Digital Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Although a handful of governors around the country are making it clear to the Obama administration they would not like Syrian refugees to come to their states after the attacks in Paris, Gov. Jay Nixon released a statement that did not clearly indicate a position as to whether he would block Syrian refugees from settling in Missouri.

Nixon released the following statement to KOMU 8 News:

“The safety of Missourians is my highest priority, and the terrorists who were involved in planning and perpetrating the attacks in Paris must be caught and brought to justice,” Nixon said. “The screening process for refugees is the responsibility of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and I call on our federal partners to implement the strongest possible safeguards to protect our state and nation.”

On Tuesday, Missouri Speaker of the House Todd Richardson sent a letter to Nixon on behalf of a group of Missouri state representatives, urging him to suspend the acceptance of Syrian refugees wanting to relocate in Missouri.

"As I’m sure you are aware, a bipartisan group of 27 governors have opted not to participate in the resettlement efforts and have asked the Department of State to suspend resettlement efforts in those states until adequate security measures can be put in place," Richardson said in the letter. "I am asking you to immediately join those efforts."

Richardson's letter also stated that after the Paris attacks "and with the continued threat of similar attacks here in the United States, I urge you to take swift action to ensure the safety and well-being of all Missouri citizens."

A group of Missouri senators sent a similar letter to Nixon on Monday; that group voiced concern for the safety of Missouri residents if Syrian refugees are allowed in.

Although Nixon does not take a definitive stance regarding Syrian refugees, the Office Manager of Columbia Refugee and Immigration Services Center, Senad Music, said it does not have a single Syrian refugee in mid-Missouri as of Tuesday. 

Music said of the 38 counties the organization serves, there are no verified Syrian refugees living in them. He said the organization is talking to officials in Columbia as to whether they can resettle 50 more immigrants in the community.

"We are verifying with the schools that it will not be hard on their budget or with the health department or with the food stamps," Music said.  

The U.S. started resettling about 85,000 refugees on Oct. 1, the beginning of the federal government's fiscal year. The Obama administration wants 10,000 Syrian refugees to come to the United States.

In a news conference Tuesday in Washington, D.C., State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner said while some U.S. citizens might be concerned about terrorist acts if Syrian refugees are allowed in the U.S., most of the refugees are victims, not attackers.

"The vast majority of these refugees are victims of the very same violence that we saw in Paris and, frankly, have been living and dealing with a level of violence, a level of brutality, of suffering and sacrifice that’s incomprehensible to us, and they are seeking refuge," Toner said.

As for refugees in mid-Missouri, in the cases the organization handled in the 2015 fiscal year, Music said 29 came from Eritrea, 28 came from the Congo, 25 from Iraq, 18 from Myanmar, 17 from Somalia, and nine from Afghanistan. If Missouri begins to accommodate more refugees, he expects that number will gradually increase the next few years.

Music said he thinks refugees better the community.

"People will pay their taxes," Music said. "Their kids will finish school. They will start businesses, and they will help this community."

Music said Columbia may see Syrian refugees in a year or maybe in five years, but he said "as of this moment and maybe the next three or four months, I don't have any signs of that."

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
HILLSBORO (AP) — An eastern Missouri man has been ordered to spend a quarter century in prison in connection with... More >>
52 minutes ago March 01, 2017 Mar 1, 2017 Wednesday, March 01 2017 Wednesday, March 01, 2017 11:04:40 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA – As Columbia grows, so does the need for clean drinking water. Columbia Water and Light is moving... More >>
4 hours ago March 01, 2017 Mar 1, 2017 Wednesday, March 01 2017 Wednesday, March 01, 2017 7:46:00 AM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri senators have voted against a proposal to ban discrimination based on gender identity and sexual... More >>
5 hours ago March 01, 2017 Mar 1, 2017 Wednesday, March 01 2017 Wednesday, March 01, 2017 6:49:00 AM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Jefferson City Mayor, Carrie Tergin will designate "March 2017 Disability Awareness Month" on Wednesday morning. The... More >>
9 hours ago March 01, 2017 Mar 1, 2017 Wednesday, March 01 2017 Wednesday, March 01, 2017 2:05:00 AM CST in Top Stories
MID-MISSOURI - KOMU received pictures and videos from more than a dozen viewers about storms and hail Tuesday night. Some... More >>
11 hours ago March 01, 2017 Mar 1, 2017 Wednesday, March 01 2017 Wednesday, March 01, 2017 12:18:00 AM CST in Weather
MISSOURI - Republican lawmakers reacted Tuesday night after President Donald Trump addressed a joint session of Congress for the first... More >>
13 hours ago February 28, 2017 Feb 28, 2017 Tuesday, February 28 2017 Tuesday, February 28, 2017 10:44:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - With Greitens now in office, mid-Missouri will likely see the new governor get rid of some business regulations.... More >>
13 hours ago February 28, 2017 Feb 28, 2017 Tuesday, February 28 2017 Tuesday, February 28, 2017 10:28:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A Jefferson City man died after a stabbing Tuesday night, according to the Jefferson City Police Department.... More >>
14 hours ago February 28, 2017 Feb 28, 2017 Tuesday, February 28 2017 Tuesday, February 28, 2017 9:47:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA – A groundbreaking ceremony was held Tuesday afternoon for a new 72-bed mental health facility in Columbia. It... More >>
16 hours ago February 28, 2017 Feb 28, 2017 Tuesday, February 28 2017 Tuesday, February 28, 2017 7:25:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - A traditional educator uses their classroom to help students excel, but is an educator without a classroom any... More >>
17 hours ago February 28, 2017 Feb 28, 2017 Tuesday, February 28 2017 Tuesday, February 28, 2017 6:49:00 PM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police have identified a man killed after his bicycle was struck by a car... More >>
17 hours ago February 28, 2017 Feb 28, 2017 Tuesday, February 28 2017 Tuesday, February 28, 2017 6:40:09 PM CST in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A man who caused a long standoff with southwest Missouri officers has been sentenced to eight years... More >>
17 hours ago February 28, 2017 Feb 28, 2017 Tuesday, February 28 2017 Tuesday, February 28, 2017 6:36:04 PM CST in News
NEVADA (AP) — Cottey College plans to offer four new degree programs beginning this fall as it seeks to increase... More >>
17 hours ago February 28, 2017 Feb 28, 2017 Tuesday, February 28 2017 Tuesday, February 28, 2017 6:09:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The city of St. Louis can proceed with a minimum wage increase after the Missouri Supreme... More >>
19 hours ago February 28, 2017 Feb 28, 2017 Tuesday, February 28 2017 Tuesday, February 28, 2017 4:13:56 PM CST in News
KINGDOM CITY - The North Callaway R-1 School District is going to a four-day school week. The plan affects... More >>
20 hours ago February 28, 2017 Feb 28, 2017 Tuesday, February 28 2017 Tuesday, February 28, 2017 3:41:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA – There will be a new subdivision near Battle High School. The Boone County Commissioners voted by a... More >>
20 hours ago February 28, 2017 Feb 28, 2017 Tuesday, February 28 2017 Tuesday, February 28, 2017 3:34:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA – February is known nationally as Spay and Neuter Month, in an attempt to help control the pet population.... More >>
21 hours ago February 28, 2017 Feb 28, 2017 Tuesday, February 28 2017 Tuesday, February 28, 2017 2:27:49 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia is looking to the community to help eliminate all traffic deaths and injuries over the next 13... More >>
22 hours ago February 28, 2017 Feb 28, 2017 Tuesday, February 28 2017 Tuesday, February 28, 2017 1:49:00 PM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 44°
12pm 48°
1pm 49°
2pm 50°
3pm 51°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

11:00a
Rachael Ray
12:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Noon
12:30p
Inside Edition
11:00a
Jerry Springer
12:00p
Jerry Springer
1:00p
Maury

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Chicago Fire
8:00p
Chicago P.D.
9:00p
Chicago Justice
7:00p
Arrow
8:00p
The 100
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld