• Peduto says Pittsburgh will accept as many as 500 Syrian refugees

    Updated:

    PITTSBURGH - Gov. Tom Wolf says his administration will continue working with the federal government to resettle Syrian refugees in Pennsylvania following the Paris terrorist attacks.

    It’s an endeavor that’s come under criticism after investigators revealed that one of the terrorists involved in the attacks in Paris snuck into France as a Syrian refugee. 

    Wolf, a Democrat, said Monday that the federal government believes it can handle an additional 10,000 refugees that the White House said in September that it would accept from Syria.


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    Pennsylvania's Department of Human Services says 14 Syrian refugees have arrived in the state since Oct. 1.

    Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto is one of 17 mayors nationwide who accepted Obama’s request to find a safe haven for families who fled Syria’s war and violence.

    “Terrorists work in a manner where they want fear and hysteria to reign, and it's at times like this we truly test the words on the Statue of Liberty,” Peduto said.

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    Peduto said Monday that he’s moving forward with plans to help as many as 500 future Syrian refugees relocate to Pittsburgh, saying it will take 18 to 24 months before any would actually arrive. 

    “One of the things we have to fight for is the principles of democracy, which made this country, which other people look towards as a place where they can escape the hell that they live in,” Peduto said.

    Four agencies, including the Northern Area Multi-Service Center in Sharpsburg, have been tasked with helping the future refugees. 

    Meanwhile, eight governors, all Republicans, say they're opposing efforts to relocate Syrian refugees in their states, or they're demanding to know more about the federal government's security procedures to screen Syrian refugees.

    Lavinia Limon, of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigration, says the Refugee Act of 1980 prevents governors from legally blocking refugees from settling in their communities.

    The Associated Press contributed to this article. 

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