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Upstate Friends Meeting Minute on Acceptance of Refugees April 3

Upstate Friends Meeting (Quaker) located in Spartanburg County, SC, unites in the belief that the United States of America and the state of SC should fulfill international obligations to accept and assist refugees fleeing war and violence, such as those fleeing war torn Syria at this time.

We accept that there should be a screening process, but ask policy makers and citizens to remember that these families and individuals are victims of terrorism, and fleeing violence, not the perpetrators of terrorism. There is a Biblical imperative to 'welcome the stranger' and all major faiths have some version of the Golden Rule. Clearly if our homes had been destroyed and we were at grave risk in our own country, we would want and expect to be welcomed and housed, so we should act out of compassion and not fear.

Our hope is that the state of SC will reject legislation that creates a government registry of any group of legal residents including refugees and will reject legislation that imposes special restrictions or penalties on faith or civic groups that attempt to aid those in need.

We oppose the adoption of a strict liability standard, which would impose liability without a finding of fault.