PATERSON - A New Jersey congressman welcomed a new family to the Garden State.
Rep. Bill Pascrell invited the Al-Teibawi family, who are refugees from Syria, to his office Tuesday. The family has recently settled in Paterson.
The family left Syria more than three years ago. They were relocated to Paterson with help from the Church World Service.
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Through a translator, Morad Al-Teibawi expressed his gratitude to the state of New Jersey for taking in him and his family.
“Strangers are welcoming me and they’re offering me so many things. People are so welcoming of me since I’ve gotten here,” Al-Teibawi said through the translator.
Al-Teibawi was joined by his pregnant wife and their five children. The family’s arrival comes on the heels of a heated national debate about refugees and the U.S. border.
Gov. Chris Christie previously said he opposed allowing Syrian refugees into the United States because he didn’t trust the Obama administration to vet them properly.
However, Rep. Pascrell said that he disagrees and thinks the U.S. should increase the number of refugees it’s accepting. He said the Al-Teibawi family underwent UN security checks.
“People who are accumulating this information, you have a pretty damn good idea by the time whether these people are suspect of sneaking into this country and wanting to blow up you or me,” he said.
Al-Teibawi said that he just wants people like his family to be safe.
“People are facing different conflicts in so many different parts and children are dying in boats,” he said through his translator.
According to the State Department, about 75 Syrian refugees settled in New Jersey over the last year.