A day after Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry sends letters to the regional Congressional delegation saying he supports calls from Governor Rick Scott to halt Syrian refugee admissions, he wants to make it clear that his stance is not about the people.
“I love Syrian refugees- those that are here, welcome to our City,” he says.
Curry says his concern is the process by which refugees are admitted to the US, then Florida and ultimately Jacksonville.
“Terrorists will use that process, if it’s not tight, to get in to our country and our city,” he says.
I asked Curry whether he’s comfortable with the amount of vetting that’s taken place on the Syrian refugees who are already in the City. After a pause, he didn’t answer directly.
“Look, I’m addressing where we are right now, and we’re a welcoming and a caring city. I just want to make sure that the federal government can give us some assurances that the process and the vetting procedures work,” Curry says.
Turning the tables, we asked Sheriff Mike Williams whether there have been any threats made on local refugees, as a result of the recent national sentiment. He says none have been recorded, but they're closely monitoring all intelligence channels and working with relief organizations to ensure everyone stays safe.
Florida Governor Rick Scott sent lawmakers letter earlier this week saying the state will not support efforts to relocate approximately 425 Syrian refugees. At the same time, he acknowledged that the federal government can still move forward with the process, so he urged your Congressmen to pull funding for those efforts. That action, and offshoots of it, are being weighed on Capitol Hill now.