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Politics and Government

InterFaith Works prepared to welcome Syrian refugees

Tom Magnarelli
WRVO News File Photo
Beth Broadway (right) stand out front of the InterFaith Works headquarters in Syracuse

An organization that helps resettle refugees in central New York is celebrating the one year anniversary of its headquarters in Syracuse. The agency said it is fully committed to helping refugees from Syria if any are relocated to the area.

InterFaith Works unveiled a new sign outside the building they own, which is a big deal considering they have been renting different spaces since 1976 to provide refugees with the living, employment training and medical services that they offer.

Beth Broadway, the president of InterFaith Works said she is proud of Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s willingness to accept refugees from Syria. She said those refugees are fleeing from the same terrorists that perpetrated the attacks in Paris.

“People’s fears that refugees are going to be here as terrorists are really unfounded," Broadway said. "These are the most screened people on the planet. They have 13 checkpoints that they have to go through, including a series of very serious checkpoints through Homeland Security before they are allowed here.”

If the full number of Syrian refugees President Barack Obama is calling for are brought in and spread throughout the country, 60 to 75 of them could come to Syracuse. But Broadway said she does not expect many for at least several years.

“People have seen these terrible photographs, almost biblical proportions of people fleeing out of Syria," Broadway said. "The people that are fleeing are not part of the problem, they are part of our solution to our lower population and our increased need for workers." 

She also said there is the possibility of a small number of Syrian refugees coming sooner, but it would only be because they were in dire circumstances and already cleared by security.