Los Angeles County supervisors vote to accept Syrian refugees

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted 3-1 Tuesday to welcome Syrian refugees fleeing oppression and violence in their war-torn homeland.

President Barack Obama has pledged to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees to the United States.

Mark Ridley-Thomas, Sheila Kuehl and Hilda Solis voted to pass the move, while Michael D. Antonovich voted against the proposal and shared his concern about a potential terrorist infiltration. He reiterated that one of the suspects in last month's terror attacks in Paris entered Europe as a Syrian refugee.

"The deaths of 129 French citizens at the hands of at least one known Syrian refugee show that the refugee crisis is different from others in history," Antonovich said in a statement.

Antonovich said he believes the system for vetting the migrants is inadequate and could put Americans at risk.

Currently, the refugee screening process typically takes 18 to 24 months and includes interviews, fingerprinting and database crosschecks by several federal agencies. Syrians undergo additional screening involving data from the U.N. Refugee Agency and interviews by Homeland Security Department officials trained to question Syrians.

Don Knabe abstained from voting but did not explain his reasoning.

The board also approved a vote to send Obama a letter expressing support of federal efforts to help Syrians and others fleeing countries racked by violence enter the U.S. and resettle over the next two years.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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