Gov. Rauner urged to change stance on blocking Syrian refugees into Illinois

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CHICAGO-- Members of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee rights held a news conference Friday afternoon after meeting with aides from Governor Bruce Rauner's office.
They want Rauner to change his stance on blocking Syrian refugees into Illinois.

Since November 2014, Ismail and his wife Safa--along with their four children-- have called Chicago home.

The family joins more than 100 Syrian refugees who have come to Illinois in the last year.

A vetting process congresswoman Jan Schakowsky says is intense-- taking about two years.

“They are mostly women and children only 2% of the refugees who have been allowed to come to the us are men of fighting age.”

Since the attacks in Paris one week ago-- Governor Bruce Rauner, along with 31 other governors across the country, announced he would like to halt the influx of Syrian refugees into Illinois.

This week, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill that would suspend president Obama’s plan to allow 10,000 Syrian refugees into the U.S. next year and then intensify the screening process.

Some feel this will protect the public, others think it's a knee jerk reaction.

Ahmed Rehab, CAIR Exec. Dir. “We have members of the GOP, leaders who have embraced the bait taken the bait and have turned against refugees and started to say things that feed into the xenophobia and islamophobia that we see in the streets, in airports and around the country.”

On Wednesday, Chicago City Council unanimously passed a resolution welcoming Syrian refugees.

Rahm Emanuel “I think the notion you would put on pause we would welcome refugees fleeing violence is not who we are as a country.”

Jan Schawkosky “I understand that people are fearful but i think we need to understand that of all the refugees that have come here since 911 we have not had a single incident of one of those people being a threat to the United States of America.”

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