OLYMPIA, Wash. --Two opposing rallies converged on the lawn in front of the state Capitol Friday to voice their concerns over Syrian refugees.
Washington State Patrol troopers had to inject themselves into the crowds and separate the two sides, some of whom began pushing and shouting insults toward one another.
The issue of Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States has erupted since the terrorist attacks in Paris last week that killed at least 130 people. Initial reports indicated one of the Paris attackers may have entered Europe among the crowds of Syrian refugees feeling the violence in the Middle East. But it was later reported the Syrian passport found on one of the attackers may have been fake.
Still, Brent Lee is opposed to allowing any more Syrian refugees into Washington state.
"Why do we have to support the people?" Lee said. "I’m concerned about American lives."
Tyra Lindquist believes Washington state should welcome in oppressed people.
"We live in greatest country on the planet," Lindquist said. "We can take care of everybody."
Miriam Padilla also supports an inclusive Washington, despite the fact, she said, that ISIS terrorists killed her cousin last week in the Paris attacks.
Padilla said, "I’m angry that my cousin is dead but I'm also angry that there's a lot of Arabs and Muslims and kids back in Syria that are dying. I think that it's time for us to say, enough."
Republican state lawmakers sent a letter to Gov. Jay Inslee asking him to pause the acceptance of Syrian refugees into Washington state.
On Friday, Inslee responded by saying, "It is well understood that governors do not actually control whether refugees are allowed to enter their states. More importantly, I find it regrettable that you, as elected leaders, have not taken the time to understand this screening process and the rigorous steps that our federal government has in place to ensure the safety of American citizens."
To read Inslee's entire response, click on this link: https://tribkcpq.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/govinsleesyrianrefugeeresponse_0.pdf