Syrian student in Austin calls for compassion for refugees

AUSTIN, Texas-- A Syrian student is speaking out in support of refugees coming to Texas, but that was quickly countered by an Austin city councilman.

It's a sight that has become all too familiar in the Middle-East, Syrian people looking for an escape.The threat there is something that keeps Nour Al-Ghraowi on edge. She is in Austin enrolled in Austin Community College, her family is in Damascus, Syria.

"My dad owns a chocolate factory and chocolate shop. The business is not going very well." she said.

Al-Ghraowi checks in with them daily. She says her mom worries sick about her brother who attends college there.

"She counts the minutes for him to come back. The situation is really bad and that's why people are leaving," she said.

She believes the governor's decision to exclude refugees from Texas is not the right choice.

"They are escaping this terrorism, that's what people cannot understand," she said.

It's a different view for council member Don Zimmerman.

"People who are born here in America, they go to our schools, they watch our TV shows and they go out and commit mass murder. We haven't even wrapped our head around our own local domestic people," Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman believes U.S. security is the utmost importance and refugees coming in would only compromise security.

"What sense does it make to bring in people from a foreign country we don't understand?  We can't speak their language, it's impossible to do background checks on people from a country embroiled in civil war," he said.

"I understand peoples' concern about terrorism and all that but as I said, the security vetting people go through, especially refugees because of what's happened, they're going to go through a long and detailed process," Al-Ghraowi said.

City council will take up the refugee crisis on November 30 which includes two possible resolutions, to agree or disagree with Governor Abbott, and talk funding for refugees if need be.

"We're all against ISIS, we're all against terrorism but it does not mean you ignore or reject millions of people who are in need," Al-Ghraowi said.
 

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