Refugee on backlash: 'I understand why they are scared'
Posted November 19, 2015
Updated November 20, 2015
Durham, N.C. — More than 200 refugees from Iraq and Syria have settled in North Carolina in the past year, with almost half of them now living in the Triangle, according to the U.S. State Department.
With Congress pushing tougher screening on new refugees from those two countries in the wake of last week's Paris terrorist attacks and the growing chorus among other officials nationwide, including North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, to halt the placement of more refugees until those higher standards are in place, many refugees are concerned about their own safety as well as that of others seeking a safe haven.
"Actually, I understand why they are scared," an Iraqi refugee said Thursday, referring to those opposed to accepting more refugees.
The 29-year-old mother of two has been in the United States for two years. She spoke with WRAL News at the Durham office of Church World Service, the nonprofit helping her with her transition to the U.S., on the condition that her identity not be revealed.
She said she fled the violence and what she called "the bad people" in Iraq.
"Many people (were) killed on the streets," she said.
She said she understands that some Americans fear that violence could come to the U.S. with refugees, but she said the fears may be overblown.
"Not all the people (are) bad," she said. "Just give them some chance."