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Greensboro organization receives threats amid concerns over Syrian refugees

Posted November 18, 2015

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— On Wednesday night, more North Carolina leaders backed a call to stop the settlement of refugees in the state, one day after a local organization that works with refugees received threats.

North Carolina’s most powerful lawmakers agreed with Governor Pat McCrory about halting the admittance of Syrian refugees to the state until they are satisfied with the background and security checks they go through.

Those who work with local refugees say that the lawmakers have sparked fear in the community.

“The statements of many politicians over the last few days have enticed a significant amount of fear,” said Church World Service Director, Ellen Andrews.

For years, the nonprofit Church World Service has helped resettle refugees from all over the world in the Triangle area. On Tuesday, a threat was called into the organization’s Greensboro office. Andrews would not talk about the nature of the threat.

“It was terrifying. We worry tremendously about the safety of our clients. We also worry about the safety of our staff,” said Andrews.

Church World Service settles around 250 refugees from all over the world each year. Candidates who have already fled persecution in their home countries are screened by multiple United States agencies before they board a plane for America, said Andrews.

“They involve checking people against terrorist watch lists, doing bio-metric screenings, their fingerprints,” Andrews explained. “Any inconsistencies in a person’s story will be very, very carefully explored.”

The screening process can take up to two years or more. Andrews said organizations that help settle refugees have in interest in making sure they do not pose a threat.

“We are talking about people fleeing the very things we are afraid of,” said Andrews.

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  • Teddy Fowler Nov 19, 2015
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    Apparently Robin never really was a patriot... people are allowed to have different view points than the one you seem so absolutely sure is the correct one...

  • Tandy Dawgy Nov 19, 2015
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    Kudos to Linda and Robin. What really have we become? Whatever happened to "Land of the free and home of the BRAVE"? I swear....

  • Jack Harris Nov 19, 2015
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    The problem is not with them being Syrians, the problem is finding out who they really are since Syria does not have Birth records, not any kind of records to prove you are who you say you are!. Question when ISIS is eradicated then will they all want to go to there homeland or just send the taxpayer dollars back like the Mexican ILLEGALS do!

  • Robin Cubbon Nov 19, 2015
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    the terrorists were not syrian. the document in france was false and recognized as being false. i swear, as a veteran, i can feel no patriotism as my country abandons what it calls values as it turns people away. we have learned nothing since we turned away jews in wwII and interred our own japanese american citizens. i never want to hear this is a christian nation again.

  • Linda Tally Nov 19, 2015
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    Oh, now this is TRULY North Carolina reasoning.... don't like a terrorist possibility so let's BECOME a terrorist and threaten harm to relief organizations. Yep, the South will rise again, yihaw!

  • Wayne Douglas III Nov 19, 2015
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    And at least one of these terrorists in Paris, had false documents, so how is that supposed to help? If one can appear to not be a terrorist, then any of them can appear, not to be a terrorist