31 states, with the possibility of more, are saying “no” to Syrian Refugees. South Carolina was the last of the Southern states to ask that no refugees be resettled there.
Governor Nikki Haley made the call on Monday, but some think her statement ended with a big question mark.
“I think that was sort of the problem with the governor’s a lot of folks didn’t feel that it was strong enough and it left kind of an open door question and we don’t want to leave a question,” Aiken County Council member, Andrew Siders explained.
Aiken County Council member, Andrew Siders says there was always a concern bringing Syrian refugees into South Carolina but the Paris attacks sent that concern over the edge.
“It’s very scary and it’s an unfortunate, we all feel bad when we see the pictures of the women and we see the pictures of the children, and things of that sort, but we have our national security to be concerned about and we have to take care of our families first,” Siders explained.
Like many other leaders, Siders says his first priority is keeping the people of Aiken safe.
He says in speaking with the other council members he thinks they are all on the same page, which is no refugees in the Palmetto State.
“These refugees are totally unvetted, we have no way of doing any background, we have no way of having a process in place to take care of that and that’s the concern,” Siders said.
Council is working to put together a resolution with the right wording by their next council meeting, December 8th.
During Tuesday night’s council meeting, the President of the Aiken Republican Party addressed council asking them to send a resolution letter to the Governor saying “no” to Syrian refugees.
He wasn’t the only one, more than 100 people attended the meeting, many of them to express the same concerns about refugees coming into the state.
K.T. Ruthven, the Chairman of the Aiken Republican Party, released a statement to News Channel 6.
Ruthven says, “I’m very pleased with the warm reception counsel gave the resolution. I am empathetic towards the struggles of the refugees however it’s a question of national security and protecting Americans first.”