Kentucky lawmakers at odds with president’s Syrian refugee plan

President Barack Obama’s plans to allow 10,000 Syrian refugees into the US next year don’t sit well with Republican Kentucky State Rep. Richard Heath.

"As cruel as it sounds, we still have to secure our borders and take care of Americans first," Heath said.

Heath said two Iraqi men, who were living in Bowling Green as refugees, should be clear examples that not everyone who moves here has good intentions. They were charged in 2011 for wanting to supply weapons to Al-Qaeda.

"Who knows how many are amongst us, and to bring in more? I’m not a fan of that," he said

Data released by the US State Department shows Kentucky is housing the most Syrian refugees of any state. In October, 26 Syrians were placed in the commonwealth. Illinois had 17 while Missouri and Tennessee had none.

Heath has an ally in Democratic state Rep. Gerald Watkins. Even though they can’t stop the process, they both want reassurance that every refugee who enters the US does not pose a security threat. Watkins said that’s nearly impossible.

"We’re a compassionate society. We’re a nation of immigrants. But at the same time, we’re fools if we don’t try to secure our borders and if we don’t think for a second that our enemy is using this opportunity to try to get into this country," Watkins told Local 6.

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