Congresswoman Norma Torres

Representing the 35th District of California
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Torres Meets with Syrian Refugee Families

November 25, 2015
Press Release
ONTARIO, CA - Today Rep. Norma J. Torres (D-Pomona), a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, met with families of Syrian refugees at the Islamic Center of Claremont in Pomona to hear first-hand their experiences with the refugee screening process and their resettlement in California. 
“As an immigrant myself, I know that we can’t turn our backs on those in greatest need,” said Torres.  “I came to the U.S. as a small girl during a very dangerous time in Guatemala, because my parents hoped I would have a better life. During this time of Thanksgiving, we must recognize that this is what American has always been and what I am fighting for it to always be.”
Joining Rep. Torres were representatives from the Islamic Center of Claremont, the Claremont Interfaith Working Group for Middle East Peace, the Claremont Interfaith Council, and the Claremont Interfaith Sustainability Committee.  The organizations have been working to promote tolerance and inter-faith cooperation within the community and have been providing assistance to the refugee families.
“The Islamic Center of Claremont appreciates Congresswoman Torres’s support for the long held American tradition of being a refuge for the destitute fleeing oppression and seeking a new birth of freedom on our golden shores,” stated Joseph Salas with the Islamic Center of Claremont.  “Refugees fleeing war-torn Syria affirm the plight of the first pilgrims who sought religious freedom when they fled their home country of England.  Congresswoman Torres's vote on the House floor upholds the spirit of Thanksgiving and the upcoming Christmas season which furthers the eternal principles of peace and goodwill.”
“I was proud to meet with these two families today who have faced unimaginable challenges to be where they are and to hear straight from them what it took to make it to this country as refugees.  What I heard only reinforced what we know of the vetting process: it is long, robust, and continually strengthened as circumstances change,” continued Torres.  “In light of the Paris attacks and the risks we continue to face, I am committed to working on the Homeland Security Committee to strengthen the current process and continuously reevaluate it to ensure Americans are protected and our values are preserved.”