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Wednesday, November 18, 2015
BY +Scott Leffler

Members of the Niagara County Legislature voted unanimously Tuesday night to send a message to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo that Syrian refugees are not welcome here.

The decision comes during a national fervor that has seen at least 30 U.S. governors declare their states to be a no-refugee zone just days after a terrorist bombing in Paris left 129 people dead.

Those opposing the settlement have done so primarily on the grounds that one of the terrorists from the Paris bombing was carrying a Syrian passport and identified as a refugee that had entered continental Europe via Greece in October.

Niagara County’s opposition comes as the Obama administration seeks to resettle 10,000 refugees from the Syrian civil war in cities across the U.S. and an announcement by top officials in neighboring Erie County that at least 300 refugees are set to be placed there.

The unanimous vote by county lawmakers to demand Cuomo to work to block federal resettlement of refugees in New York puts county lawmakers in line with U.S. Rep. Chris Collins, R-Clarence, and Erie County Legislature Majority Leader Joseph Lorigo, R-West Seneca.

“Ensuring the safety and security of our country and Western New Yorkers is my central focus,” Collins stated Monday. “At this point, we cannot guarantee with 100 percent certainty that the refugees we are accepting from Syria don’t pose a threat to our community. Until we have a process in place that achieves that goal, I am calling on Gov. Cuomo to stop plans to accept Syrian refugees.”

Republican legislator John Syracuse of Newfane echoed that sentiment: “We don’t know who these people are. Even the director of the FBI has stated in Congressional testimony that we have no workable database, no background information, on these refugees,” Syracuse said. “While many who want to help these refugees may have the very best of intentions, we can’t let public safety become a secondary consideration to political correctness.”

Middleport Republican Michael Hill concurred: “The lack of verifiable information about these individuals’ backgrounds—about who they are, about who their associates are, about past radical or criminal activity—these are all reasons to suspend any resettlement at least for the foreseeable future."

Cuomo stated Tuesday afternoon that the matter of refugee settlement isn't up to him -- or any other governor. "Where does it say in the state constitution you can refuse a person placed by the federal government," Cuomo asked rhetorically during a Q&A Tuesday afternoon at Harvard University. "What are you going to have your militia fight the federal government at the borders of your state? It's a pure political statement. It's up to the federal government. If the federal government lets refugees in and places them in your state, the Governor has no authority to turn them down."

East Niagara Post is the official media sponsor of Hockey Day in Lockport.


  1. The governor could at least voice our concerns to the federal level.

  2. Why are we assuming that these people have "past radical and criminal activity"? These are people that need our assistance and could use the open, loving city that I know Lockport can be.

  3. The Govenor can refuse a person placed by the federal government when the president goes against the constitution of the US

  4. You clowns. No local or state government can stop refugees. Federal decision. And learn to spell governor. Sheeple.


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