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Wednesday, November 18, 2015
By +Scott Leffler 
scott.leffler@eastniagarapost.com


Rob Ortt
State Sen. Rob Ortt issued a statement this morning calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo and President Barack Obama to refuse entry to Syrian refugees.

Ortt, R-North Tonawanda, said following the terrorists attack last week in Paris, "it's clear that a new course is needed" on U.S. refugee policies. One of the terrorists was said to be carrying a Syrian passport.

Ortt follows in the footsteps of U.S. Rep. Chris Collins, state Assemblywoman Jane Corwin and the Niagara County Legislature as those who oppose -- or at least wish to review -- Syrian refugee settlement in the area.

Gov. Cuomo has stated that the matter is out of his hands. The allowance of refugee placement is a federal matter, although at least 30 U.S. governors have issued statements that they would deny Syrian refugees in their states.

Ortt's statement follows below in its entirety:
We cannot let our President's failed Middle East policies lay the groundwork for such a dramatic threat to our security here in the United States. Our hearts go out to the Syrian people who have been subjected to unthinkable horrors throughout their civil war. But our President stood by while Assad used chemical warfare on the Syrian people and while the Islamic State grew - waging a war of beheadings, mass murders, and rapes. Letting the Syrians kill themselves and accepting those fortunate enough to escape isn't a policy. And now that we've seen the danger of ISIS taking advantage of lax refugee policies to penetrate Western countries to launch terror attacks against civilians, it's clear that a new course is needed. The first step is halting the placement of Syrian refugees in our communities, especially if our government cannot ensure a strict, effective, verifiable vetting process. At the state level, I hope Governor Cuomo will involve himself in this process that is so important to the security of New Yorkers. And at the national level, I hope our federal officials will follow Congressman Collins’ leadership on this issue and protect American citizens.” 
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