William and Mary College Â students are working to have the Williamsburg City Council pass a resolution welcoming some of the 10,000 Syrian refugees.
University senior student Andrew Vollavanh said,
“The resolution would say that the city of Williamsburg would be willing to accept refugees were they to come,”
“We were trying to proceed in a legislative fashion,” Vollavanh said. “The mayor told us that probably wasn’t the best way to do it.”
The legislative coordinator at Amnesty International, Sam Steed, is a student at William and Mary. Steed said such resolutions have passed in a number of cities including, Durham, North Carolina, New Paltz, New York, and Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Steed believes the refugees to be mostly women and children who are vetted at the highest possible level. He is afraid the election of Donald Trump means a moratorium on immigration.
For a while, it looked like Hillary Clinton was going to win, and her plan included increasing the number of refugees to 65,000,” he said. “The president-elect has suggested a moratorium on Syrian refugees, so we might not see the influx we were originally expecting. Still, though, we think it’s an important issue.”
“These people are women, children, the disabled, the LGBT community,” he said, noting that no refugee has ever been charged with an act of terrorism in the States. “They are the least likely to be members of a terrorist group in any fashion.”
“This country has been the victim of a lot of terrorism. That has led some people to be fearful of the Middle East as a whole,” he said.
“These are people who are fleeing violence in their own countries. They aren’t the cause of it.”
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