Opposing rallies on Syrian refugees coming to RI

By: Rebecca Turco

Email: rturco@abc6.com

PROVIDENCE – Two opposing rallies at the State House regarding whether Syrian refugees should come to Rhode Island.

This conversation has heated up in other states, as well, since Friday’s terror attacks in Paris, France. 

More than 100 people attended the first rally, which supported refugees coming to the ocean state. State Senators Joshua Miller and Gayle Goldin led the charge, arguing we must support the idea of refugees coming to Rhode Island to show compassion for those who fled persecution.

For Senator Goldin, this hits close to home. She comes from a Jewish immigrant family, some of whom died in the Holocaust. "It’s really disappointing when anyone allows fear and ignorance to get in the way of good public policy," she told ABC6 News.

Representative Robert Nardolillo is leading the charge on the opposing side. He feels the vetting process for refugees isn’t strict enough to allow more to come in.

"The refugee vetting process should be as tight as it possibly can be," he says.

Governor Gina Raimondo has said she is following the president’s lead on this, since it is a federal issue and out of her hands. She wouldn’t offer her own opinion on the matter beyond that.

President Obama wants states to take them in.

Rhode Island has not been approached for this, but Connecticut has.

On Capitol Hill, the House of Representatives passed a bill banning Syrian and Iraqi refugees from coming without the approval of top U.S. security officials. The president has said he is against this. The bill is on its way to the Senate.

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