Poloncarz blasts Lorigo's statement on Syrian refugees

Nov 15, 2015

On Sunday County Executive Mark Poloncarz responded to County Legislator Joseph Lorigo's call to reverse his stance on accepting Syrian refugees.

Back in September Poloncarz said that Erie County could accept as many as 300 Syrian refugees over the next year.

Locals gathered Sunday in remembrance of the victims of the Paris attacks, as a war or words brewed over the resettlement of Syrian refugees.
Credit Mike Desmond/WBFO News

Lorigo took to social media on Saturday saying the risk was far too great. He says the terror attacks in Paris on Friday night should lead to a change in county policy when it comes to accepting Syrian refugees.

Lorigo questioned if Poloncarz agreed with legal immigration that protects the boarder and homeland.

"In light of the horrific terrorism in Paris, I call on CE Poloncarz to reverse his stance on accepting Syrian refugees into Erie County. After confirming at least 1 of these despicable individuals was a Syrian refugee, I believe the risk to our community is far too great. We must do everything we can to protect the citizens of Erie County," Lorigo said, adding the Twitter hashtag #ParisAttacks.

On Sunday Polocarz responded, stating he was disappointed by Lorigo's comments and his ignorance of the refugee resettling process. He clarified that the decision to allow any refugee into the country is made by the federal government and placement decisions are made by federal and state governments.

Poloncarz stated that in New York State, local not-for-profit resettlement agencies work with federal and state agencies to place refugees into communities based on the agency's ability to support them. Erie County is not an active participant in the process.