King County puts out welcome mat for Syrian refugees

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SEATTLE - Despite the fear of Middle East refugees coming to our country, local leaders are taking the opposite approach and welcoming Muslims fleeing Syria and other hot spots around the world.

On Wednesday, King County Executive Dow Constantine announced an array of services that are being made available to refugees coming to this region, many of who are the victims of torture and abuse.

“We are committed to basic American values,” Constantine said.  “This is a land for all, regardless of origin, regardless of religion.”

Over the next year, 2,000 refugees are expected to resettle in King County, many from countries in the Middle East.  The services that will be available to them include health screening and medical care; psychological counseling; transportation; and assistance with housing and education.

Constantine argued that while the services will cost money, it should be seen as an investment.

“Immigrants help fuel this economy,” he said.  “The sooner they’re able to get a job or get that education, the better off we all are.”

Leaders reassured a worried public that any refugee will go thru a full security screen.  They also attempted to calm fears by noting that many famous Americans are of Syrian descent, including Steve Jobs, Paula Abdul and Jerry Seinfeld.