CHICAGO (CBS) — The deadly terrorist attacks in Paris have led some to call for blocking Syrian refugees from resettling in the U.S., while others have called for America to welcome migrants from the war-torn Middle Eastern country with open arms.
U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) said, Paris notwithstanding, she is sticking by her call to resettle at least 200,000 refugees, but she agreed there should be close screening of those migrants.READ MORE: Chicago Public Library Posts Archive Of Speeches By Mayor Harold Washington, Born 99 Years Ago Thursday
“We should have greater confidence in our intelligence services. I certainly do, and I want to make sure that we work with our intelligence community to make sure that we are able to identify who the terrorists are,” she said.
According to published reports, one of the attackers in Paris was a refugee from Syria. At least 129 people were killed in a string of shootings and bombings in Paris on Monday, and authorities have said the mastermind of the operation, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, is a Belgian citizen of Moroccan descent who is fighting with the Islamic State in Syria.
Some elected officials have suggested refusing any more Syrian refugees into the U.S., and several Republican governors – including Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner – have suspended the resettlement of Syrian refugees into their states after the Paris attacks.
“Our nation and our state have a shared history of providing safe haven for those displaced by conflict, but the news surrounding the Paris terror attacks reminds us of the all-too-real security threats facing America. We must find a way to balance our tradition as a state welcoming of refugees while ensuring the safety and security of our citizens. Therefore, the state of Illinois will temporarily suspend accepting new Syrian refugees and consider all of our legal options pending a full review of our country’s acceptance and security processes by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security,” Rauner said.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel seemed to downplay the governor’s declaration when he was asked about it while he was at at the French Consulate paying his and the city’s condolences for the terrorist bloodbath last weekend in Paris.
“Security and our values go hand-in-hand,” Emanuel said. “The United States government is in a vetting process but our values are one in which we remind ourselves that we are an open, welcoming society.”
Suzanne Akhras, the founder of the Syrian Community Network, says she is “disappointed” by Rauner’s decision.
“I’d like to ask him, what’s his story?” Akhras said. “How did his parents or his grandparents come to the United States? What kind of conflict did they escape?”