Philadelphia (CBS) - Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell defended current Governor Tom Wolf and his decision to continue accepting Syrian refugees into the commonwealth despite fears that have circulated since last week's terror attack in Paris.
Rendell, talking with Rich Zeoli on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, said Wolf is doing what is right despite the political consequences.
"Tom Wolf is taking political risk but I'm not sure it's not the right thing to do. Every time I made a decision in office, I balanced the fact, was it going to be politically unpopular against was it the right thing to do. I think, what Tom Wolf should say, is Pennsylvania will accept, right now, minor children, ten years down to toddler status, with their mothers only and we will wait to see and investigate on our own how significant the vetting process is."
He insisted refugees fleeing Syria should not be feared and we should recognize they are the ones that need our help the most.
"Remember who these people are. These are people who fled ISIS. They fought ISIS. When ISIS started rampaging in their country, they fled. I think it's fair to assume that they're not ISIS sympathizers. Now, would I be worried that some people who once the announcement was made that we're taking people, that some people would try to jump in and get into the group? Sure. But people who fled and have been in refugee camps for six months, nine months, a year, I think it's fair to assume that they hate ISIS too."
Rendell acknowledged that making sure everyone is who they say they are cannot be done quickly, but there are things we can do now to help the most vulnerable.
"We've got to make sure we know how to vet and that we vet them properly, that we know as much about them as we can find out. That's a process that may take time. But for young children and their mothers, who tried to escape Syria and escape ISIS, I think it's a fairly safe bet."
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