• Jacksonville mayor supports halting Syrian refugees in coming to America

    By: Cole Heath

    Updated:

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - In the wake of Friday's attacks in Paris, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry is joining other state and national officials in calling for a stop to bringing Syrian refugees to the U.S.

    On Monday, Gov. Rick Scott called on Congress to block Syrian refugees from relocating to Florida in the wake of violence in Paris. He joined more than a dozen other governors taking the same stand Monday.

    Investigators are looking into whether one of the suicide bombers in Paris posed as a Syrian refugee to get into France. That's based off a passport recovered at the scene. Investigators are still trying to determine whether it’s real.

    In Scott’s letter to congressional leaders, he calls on them not to use any federal tax dollars to fund relocating Syrian refugees to Florida without extensive evaluation of the risk they may pose to national security.

    Curry wrote in a letter to Sen. Marco Rubio, "I join Florida Governor Rick Scott in his request of Members of Congress 'to take any action available through the powers of the United States Congress to prevent federal allocations toward the relocation of Syrian refugees without extensive examination into how this would affect our homeland security.'"

    Curry told Action News Jax on Tuesday that he wanted background checks of refugees to be more stringent.

    "I don't have confidence in that process. I need the federal government to step up with the background checks," Curry said. "It's the process. If the process is flawed to get into the U.S. or our city, I have to have confidence in the process."


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    However, not everyone we spoke with shares Curry's stance.

    "Why not open your heart and let them in? Everyone deserves a chance," said Phillip Thomas.

    "As a humanitarian, I support helping people in general," said Marcus Fallin.

    The Duval Democrats sent out a tweet responding to Curry's letter, calling the plan "simply heartless and unacceptable."

    But Curry said he wants confidence in the screening process first.

    "Jacksonville is a welcoming city. We want people to live here, we want people to move from other countries. We are a loving city with open arms," he said.

    The mayor said there have been no terrorist threats made directly against Jacksonville and he will be meeting with Sheriff Mike Williams on Wednesday to discuss security ahead of Thursday's Jaguars vs. Titans home game.


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