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Delmarva Delegation on Syrian Refugees, Roanoke Mayor Raises WW II Internment

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Senator Chris Coons called for a bipartisan discussion about taking in Syrian refugees.

During an interview with MSNBC the Delaware Democrat said that the discussion should include the refugee screening policy, an exploration of its weakness and the terrorist threats.

In addition, he said, there must be adequate funding and support for vetting them.

Fellow Democrat Congressman John Carney says he wants to suspend taking in Syrian refugees who are of military age.

He told the Wilmington News Journal that he would allow in women, children and families into the country after a proper vetting process.  

But, he added, that the biggest risk comes from those with European citizenship and passports who have been radicalized.

With Carney now seeking the governorship next year, Delaware Republican Party Chairman Charlie Copeland denounced the Democrat's proposal charging that it is not only men of military age who could be a threat. "The fact is that terrorist elements include women and children."


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Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md)

Meanwhile, Maryland Representative Andy Harris says he has concerns about how well the vetting is being conducted.  

The Eastern Shore Republican told the CBS affiliate in Baltimore that the government has difficulty in figuring out who will do us harm and who won’t.

Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md) says he wants to take a look at the refugee program to make sure that anyone who is a terrorist is apprehended.

The House of Representatives is set to vote on measure  that would increase screenings for Syrian and Iraqi refugees but avoid ending the program altogether.

It will also have not religious tests.

Roanoke, Virginia

(AP) - The mayor of Roanoke has asked agencies to suspend relocating Syrian refugees to the area in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks and other threats.

Mayor David Bowers said in a statement Wednesday that area relocation efforts should be stopped "until these serious hostilities and atrocities end" or are brought under control.

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State of California Library
Japanese Internment Camp

He cited the Paris attacks and the bombing of a Russian airliner. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for both.

Bowers also invoked the U.S. government's internment of Japanese-American people in camps during World War II after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Bowers said it appears that the threat of harm to America from the Islamic State "now is just as real and serious as that from our enemies then."

President Reagan signed legislation apologizing for the internment of Japanese Americans.

Bowers didn't immediately return a telephone message from Associated Press.

Don Rush is the News Director and Senior Producer of News and Public Affairs at Delmarva Public Media. An award-winning journalist, Don reports major local issues of the day, from sea level rise, to urban development, to the changing demographics of Delmarva.