State lawmaker has a problem with fleeing refugees

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Sen. Sonny Borrelli wants to ban refugees from coming to Arizona. (Souce: 3TV/CBS 5) Sen. Sonny Borrelli wants to ban refugees from coming to Arizona. (Souce: 3TV/CBS 5)
Sen. Sonny Borrelli says more refugees should stay home and fight for their country. (Souce: 3TV/CBS 5) Sen. Sonny Borrelli says more refugees should stay home and fight for their country. (Souce: 3TV/CBS 5)
Steve Arkawi, who immigrated from Syria 50 years ago, says he plans to fight the Arizona proposal. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Steve Arkawi, who immigrated from Syria 50 years ago, says he plans to fight the Arizona proposal. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

A state lawmaker is taking issue with refugees leaving their war-torn countries for the U.S., suggesting they should stay home and fight.

"I have a problem with military-aged males who won't stay there and fight and stand up for their own country," said Sen. Sonny Borrelli, a Republican from Lake Havasu City.

Borrelli, who is a retired Marine, is one of the co-sponsors on SB 1468, a bill that would ban refugees from entering Arizona.

The legislation would also fine organizations that support those fleeing their homes after they arrive $1,000 a day for every refugee.

The move comes after President Donald Trump suspended new refugee admission for 120 days and blocked travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days.

The new president also banned Syrian refugees indefinitely.

Steve Arkawi, who immigrated from Syria 50 years ago, says he plans to fight the Arizona proposal.

He currently lives in Paradise Valley and financially supports 10 Syrian refugee families adjust to their new life in Arizona.

As for Borrelli's suggestion that Syrians stay home to fight, he says it's not that simple.

"Most of those guys, they have children. They don't worry about themselves. They worry about the future of their children, no school no food no education, nothing. So that's why they left Syria," he said.

Since 2011, more than 500,000 people have died in Syria's civil war, which also sparked a refugee crisis.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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Before making the move to television, Welch wrote and edited for the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California. Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona and his addition means 3TV will provide a stronger, more robust political presence in Arizona. He joins 3TV from the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California.

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