Diocese of Biloxi: 'Syrian refugees are not coming to Biloxi' - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Diocese of Biloxi: 'Syrian refugees are not coming to Biloxi'

After the terrorist attacks in Paris, many fear that militants could infiltrate the legion of refugees. (Photo source: WLOX) After the terrorist attacks in Paris, many fear that militants could infiltrate the legion of refugees. (Photo source: WLOX)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

It is the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II. Millions of people are escaping from violence in Syria and Iraq. Europe is being flooded with refugees, and the Obama administration has said America should open its doors to these people fleeing oppression and violence.

After the terrorist attacks in Paris, many fear that militants could infiltrate the legion of refugees.

The Migration and Refugee Center with the Catholic Diocese of Biloxi has always worked to offer a safe haven to refugees. What about this current wave from Syria? 

"We are not bringing in any refugees from Syria. We have not heard anything about refugees from Syria, and we will not accept any," said Magda Leleaux, with the Migration and Refugee Center.

While Catholic charities have long supported political refugees, the center in Biloxi is well aware of the anger and anguish sweeping America and the Coast in light of the massacre in Paris.

"Right now, the atmosphere and environment after what happened in France is not a good situation. I'm a compassionate person, and I understand the concerns of people in our community," according to Leleaux. 

There has been a lot of chatter on social media around South Mississippi suggesting Syrian refugees are heading for the Coast. Leleaux said that is simply untrue.

"I don't anticipate anything happening in the near future. We are not resettling any refugees from Syria," said Leleaux.

Biloxi Mayor FoFo Gilich said the speculation and misinformation is creating unnecessary worry in his city.

“The fact is, there are no known plans to bring any Syrian refugees to Biloxi,” said Gilich. “Of course, we will be vigilant. The Biloxi Police Department maintains regular contact with multiple local, state and federal agencies with an interest in the ongoing Syrian refugee situation. Through these relationships, we aim to keep abreast of any change to the immigration status of foreign nationals. We also will work with Catholic Social Services to stay on top of this.”

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