Hussam al-Roustom lost everything in Syria. After fleeing the horrors of war, he’s working 12-hour night shifts in a bakery, learning English and watching his children flourish in America.
“Syrians are not terrorists,” he told reporters, speaking on the same day that the House of Representatives voted to ban Syrian and Iraqi refugees from entering the United States without tougher screening measures.
It was the first legislative response to last week’s terror attacks in Paris over fears that one of the attackers may have entered Europe by posing as a Syrian migrant.
Syrian refugees have become a political football in US election season, with Republicans determined to stop President Barack Obama’s pledge to resettle 10,000 in the coming year.
Obama has threatened to veto the bill and accuses Republicans of “hysteria.” Republicans defend the measure as a common-sense necessity after extremists slaughtered 129 people in Paris.