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Refugee on backlash: 'I understand why they are scared'

Posted November 19, 2015
Updated November 20, 2015

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— 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."

9 Comments

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  • Wayne Douglas III Nov 19, 2015
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    19 year old male.

  • El Conquistador Nov 19, 2015
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    Thank you, the truth no matter how inconvenient shall set you free.

  • Wayne Douglas III Nov 19, 2015
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    It doesn't matter where they come from. It matters who they are and what they potentially can do. At least one of the attackers in Paris, had a fake passport. He was not who he said he was. France didn't know this. He came and went, as much as he wanted to. He said so himself. These people make up a life, that appears to be on the up and up. Problem is, he is not that person. Here's a question for you Roy. Would you want any of these people to be placed in your home? Don't lie just to keep up your appearance. There is a 19 year old make, who "looks" on paper like he is just fleeing. He claims to want a better life. When Barry brings him to your door, do you welcome him or turn him away?

  • Roy Hinkley Nov 19, 2015
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    Thank you for staying on message, despite information that contradicts you. If you were running for office your handlers would be quite pleased.

  • El Conquistador Nov 19, 2015
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    Thank you for your distracting semantics, however anything else other than refugee is lie.

  • Roy Hinkley Nov 19, 2015
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    Asylum is different from refugee, both in title and the process they go through...but you know this since I have pointed it out to you before.

  • El Conquistador Nov 19, 2015
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    The Tsarnaev family emigrated in 2002 to the United States for political asylum from the Chechnya conflict- refugees...

  • Roy Hinkley Nov 19, 2015
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    Still peddling that line eh?

  • El Conquistador Nov 19, 2015
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    I'm glad they understand after the Boston Marathon bombers were Refugees.