Rally in support of Syrian refugees draws big crowd

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - During an afternoon rally in support of Syrian refugees, the sidewalk in front of Old County Hall in Downtown Buffalo was filled with nearly 200 people.

Members of religious groups, local refugee organizations and former refugees, all gathered to demand the Erie County Legislature not take steps against the resettlement of future refugees to this area.

The rally was organized in response to an effort by Legislature Majority Leader Joe Lorigo's (R-West Seneca) call for a public hearing on the issue. After the Paris terrorist attacks, Lorigo wanted  Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz to reverse his stance on allowing up to 300 Syrian refugees to resettle in Erie County.

Many of the peaceful protestors also attended the Erie County Legislature's scheduled session where Lorigo's public hearing resolution was being voted on. However, fearing a public hearing could turn into an heated debate, legislators instead voted to have an informational session.

No date was set for the informational session, but county officials, police, and homeland security are being called to testify in order to gather more information about the cost, public safety and procedures for dealing with refugees locally.




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