US role in refugee crisis questioned

Tens of thousands of refugees from places like Syria and Iraq have been flooding into Western Europe to flee the violence in their home countries

As Germany, Hungary and other nations struggle to deal with the large number of migrants, some have questioned whether America should help.

As Germany, Hungary and other nations struggle to deal with the large number of migrants, some have questioned whether America should help. (9/7/15)

WOODBURY - Tens of thousands of refugees from places like Syria and Iraq have been flooding into Western Europe to flee the violence in their home countries and create new lives for themselves.

As Germany, Hungary and other nations struggle to deal with the large number of migrants, some have questioned whether America should help.

The United Kingdom pledged to take in as many as 20,000 Syrian refugees over the next five years, while France agreed to take in 24,000. U.S. officials say they plan to admit 1,800 by the end of this year, but some residents say that's not good enough.

"There's tremendous suffering over there, there's danger for them. They should be let in, of course," says Imad Kayali.

Kayali left Syria 40 years ago, and now calls Long Beach home. He says his friends and relatives are among the hundreds of thousands who have fled the war torn country.

Four million Syrians have registered or are awaiting registration with the United Nations High Commission of Refugees. Officials there say at least 40 percent of Syria's population, or 7.6 million people, have been displaced since the start of the war.

Aid groups and some Democratic lawmakers are pressuring the administration to accept as many as 65,000 Syrian refugees.

Republican Rep. Peter King says anyone who is let in to America as a refugee must go through a very thorough and lengthy investigation that could take up to two years.

"Probably 95 percent of them are decent people who are suffering, but we can't run the risk," he says. "My main obligation is to protect Americans, and I don't want any of these people coming in saying they're refugees and turning out to be al-Qaida or ISIS terrorists."

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