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Del. Simon Denounces Efforts to Block Syrian Refugees

“Shame on Virginia House of Delegates Majority Caucus Chairman Tim Hugo (R), Deputy Majority Leader Todd Gilbert (R), Delegate Greg Habeeb (R), and Delegate Manoli Loupassi (R) who have written a letter to the Governor threatening to introduce legislation to block the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Virginia,” said State Del. Marcus Simon, whose 53rd District includes the City of Falls Church.

He added, “Shame on you for seizing on this international tragedy for political gain. Shame on you for appealing to people’s worst instincts, their fears and their deep-seated prejudices. Shame on you for fanning those fears with your irresponsible, unfounded assertions that we aren’t capable of being able to distinguish between those in need of saving and those that would do us harm when it comes to Syrian refugees. Shame on you for believing Virginians’ fear for their own safety will outweigh their decency, their compassion, and their humanity. We can and we must take prudent steps to vet all refugees seeking asylum regardless of their religion or country of origin, but to suggest that we must eliminate all risk is specious. As for me, I believe Virginians want to be true the words of Emma Lazurus, inscribed on the Statue of Liberty, to ‘make our Commonwealth a safe haven for the tired, poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. The homeless, tempest-tost to us.’”