PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – In the aftermath of last week’s terror attack in Paris, many Republican Governors, including New Jersey’s Chris Christie, pledged to stop receiving Syrian refugees displaced by ISIS and other terrorist groups. Erol Kekic of Church World Services, an organization that is helping resettle refugees in New Jersey disagrees with the Governor and hopes a resolution will soon be reached to keep the practice in place.
Kekic, speaking Dom Giordano on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, said differences between the two opposing sides, those who want to allow resettlement and those who want to block it, can be overcome.READ MORE: Southwest Philadelphia Block Renamed After Rev. Paul 'Earthquake' Moore
“We don’t see it as a standoff. We just see it as a misunderstanding that will be, hopefully, resolved, in due time. We understand the security concerns and understand that there are certain rules that have to be applied to everybody who is entering the United States, but I don’t think that this is an either/or situation. The United States can continue to welcome refugees while continuing to ensure our own security. We must do both.”
He said the process in place for screening refugees is effective and ensures the safety of both local communities and the resettled refugees.
“We do have biometric information on all of the refugees that are entering the United State. What happened in Europe can never happen here because our system is very tightly controlled. People are not coming to the US on rafts or boats. This not a situation out of control. This is a very systematic, orderly program. People have been in the system for years on end. We do have information on them and the US government and its intelligence and security agencies do their job.”READ MORE: Commuters Make Backup Plans Ahead Of SEPTA Strike Vote
Kekic also pointed out that completely stopping the flow of refugees could cause Americans to lose their jobs.MORE NEWS: Camden County Voters Trickle In As New Jersey Starts Early Voting For The First Time
“The program has been and continues to be a public/private partnership. Part of it comes from the Federal Government and part of it comes from local and national groups, such as mine, local churches, congregations, school systems, student associations and others. It is really a mixed bag. The money that comes from the Federal Government comes from the Department of State and the Department of Health and Human Services. The money goes to the states. The states then administer that money on behalf the Federal Government. So shutting down the program in a state, basically, is refusal to take government money to offer social services to refugees that are being resettled. I believe that such a move could result in a loss of jobs in some instances.”