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

1 year 7 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
JEFFERSON CITY - The congregation at the First Church of God in Jefferson City was treated to a unique experience... More >>
7 hours ago June 25, 2017 Jun 25, 2017 Sunday, June 25 2017 Sunday, June 25, 2017 4:59:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The number of Missouri House races lacking major-party opposition has been on the rise. ... More >>
7 hours ago June 25, 2017 Jun 25, 2017 Sunday, June 25 2017 Sunday, June 25, 2017 4:47:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A domestic dispute ended with gunshots Saturday night after the Jefferson City Police responded to a weapons... More >>
10 hours ago June 25, 2017 Jun 25, 2017 Sunday, June 25 2017 Sunday, June 25, 2017 1:53:00 PM CDT in News
ST. JOESPH, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Western State University is closing the oldest residence hall on campus. The St.... More >>
11 hours ago June 25, 2017 Jun 25, 2017 Sunday, June 25 2017 Sunday, June 25, 2017 12:48:00 PM CDT in News
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) — A northwestern Missouri boy with a rare genetic disorder has fulfilled his dream of being... More >>
11 hours ago June 25, 2017 Jun 25, 2017 Sunday, June 25 2017 Sunday, June 25, 2017 12:40:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – The Strengthening and Conditioning Factory is hosting a fundraiser for the Children’s Miracle Network on Sunday. The... More >>
18 hours ago June 25, 2017 Jun 25, 2017 Sunday, June 25 2017 Sunday, June 25, 2017 6:11:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Four people made it out safely of a house on Rosemary Lane in Columbia Saturday morning after a... More >>
1 day ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 7:41:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Police responded to shots heard at the 800 block of Spencer Avenue on Saturday just before 5:00... More >>
1 day ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 5:53:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Cheerleaders rolled up their sleeves and got dirty while washing cars Saturday as athletes at Capitol City... More >>
1 day ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 3:51:00 PM CDT in News
FULTON - A man was taken into custody and charged Friday night after leading authorities on a chase through the... More >>
1 day ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 3:51:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Members of the Central Missouri Radio Association are inviting mid-Missourians to participate in the National Amateur Radio Field... More >>
1 day ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 3:48:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – Aspen Dental provided veterans with free services in mid-Missouri and across the U.S. Saturday for the Aspen Day... More >>
1 day ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 2:29:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Some GOP state lawmakers want to give the Missouri attorney general authority to prosecute violations... More >>
1 day ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 1:21:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis judge has pushed back until Jan. 8 the retrial of a man accused... More >>
1 day ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 12:59:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis County police are investigating the case of a toddler who died after the vehicle... More >>
1 day ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 12:47:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police are searching for a man now accused of killing a couple and another... More >>
1 day ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 12:42:00 PM CDT in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - Callaway County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to an initial 911 call Saturday morning reporting an airplane flying... More >>
1 day ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 11:43:00 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY— The Sam B. Cook Healthplex hosted the 5th Annual Sweatin' to Make a Difference on Saturday. The... More >>
1 day ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 11:40:00 AM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 61°
1am 58°
2am 56°
3am 55°
4am 54°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

11:35p
Elementary
12:35a
Paid Program
1:05a
Dateline NBC
12:00a
Northern Borders
2:00a
Paid Program
2:30a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
American Ninja Warrior
9:00p
Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge
7:00p
Supergirl
8:00p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
8:30p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld