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Mayor Wants City To Take In More Syrian Refugees

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Pittsburgh's mayor says he wants the city to take in more Syrian refugees.

A Syrian Summit was held Thursday evening in East Liberty to talk about the refugee crisis and how the city is helping.

There are currently 500 refugees living in Pittsburgh.

Mayor Bill Peduto would like to see that number grow.

"We'll be at 500 this year. We've been at 500 the past several years," said Mayor Peduto. "The question is, can we do a little bit more? These are people coming from all over the world, not just from northern Iraq and Syria, but as we realize there's a world crisis right now, we all have to roll up our sleeves and do a little bit more to be able to avert what could become a catastrophe."

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A local expert says the biggest issue facing local refugees right now is how other people treat them.

"These people are hard workers, they're educated. They come here and they're going to contribute," said Dr. Kevin Caridad, of the Southwest Pa. National Association of Social Workers. "They're not looking for a handout, they are looking for a safe place to stay, and that doesn't mean it's going to be unsafe for us to be able to accept them and put us at risk."

Mayor Peduto says another big issue with taking in more refugees is finding enough housing for them.

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