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Honduras: Detained Syrians were seeking refuge in U.S.

MEXICO CITY -- Four of the five Syrians detained in this Central American country with stolen Greek passports this week are students and all say they were fleeing their country in hopes of refuge in the United States, Honduran authorities said Thursday.

Police spokesman Anibal Baca told BLU Radio of Colombia that the fifth Syrian is a professional worker, and all five will appear before a judge on charges of falsifying documents.

The men were detained Tuesday at the airport in the capital of Tegucigalpa by agents acting on an alert from Interpol about the passports.

Honduran authorities have not turned up any criminal history for the Syrians, and there has been no indication that they are suspected of anything except carrying stolen documents.

Baca said the men had intended to fly to the northwestern Honduran city of San Pedro Sula and then travel overland to the United States.

Authorities said the previous day that the Syrians initially traveled to Lebanon and Turkey, and then to Brazil, Argentina and Costa Rica before arriving in Honduras.

Honduras is a common route for migrants trying to reach the United States, but it's unlikely the men would have been able to use the stolen passports to enter the U.S.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers scan the passports of all travelers and have access to information about stolen documents.

Meanwhile, a Syrian woman traveling on a Greek passport was detained in Costa Rica, Reuters reported Thursday, citing the foreign ministry.

How the Paris attacks affect the refugee debate in the U.S.

In the U.S., pressure has been growing to stop accepting refugees from Syria after French authorities revealed that a Syrian passport was found close to the body of one of the eight terrorists killed during the attacks in Paris.

Republicans in the House have been actively working to try to halt the administration's plan to take in more Syrian refugees. Several dozen U.S. governors have refused to accept refugees in their states.

Speaking in the Philippines on Wednesday, President Barack Obama fought back against the effort, deeming the rhetoric offensive and insisting "it needs to stop."

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