Catholic Charities helped Syrian refugee in Baton Rouge
BATON ROUGE- State leaders blasted the feds Monday for not alerting them about 14 Syrian refugees who were resettled in Louisiana. It's unclear when they arrived.
The majority of them are in the New Orleans area, but one came to Baton Rouge two months ago. WBRZ has learned Catholic Charities helped the refugee who settled in Baton Rouge, but said the immigrant left for another state after a couple of days, and they don't know where the refugee went since they don't track them.
Monday, Governor Bobby Jindal issued an executive order preventing the resettlement of Syrian refugees into Louisiana. The order prohibits state resources from being used for the refugees. However, that order does not apply to nonprofits and has no effect on the organization that helps refugees.
"We're at the receiving end," Executive Director of Catholic Charities, Chad Aguillard said. "We receive them, we welcome them into our community and help them resettle. There has been a lot of commotion and fear with Syrians. The fear is justified, but we have to check that against reality."
The executive order issued by Governor Jindal also calls for strict monitoring of the refugees. However, state leaders were not made aware that refugees were in Louisiana until this weekend after watching the news.
"This is a federal program, and it was their responsibility, as the governor has stated, that they should have notified myself or governor directly," GOHSEP Director Kevin Davis said.
As Catholic Charities continues to work with those less fortunate, the organization says it has helped refugees since the Vietnam War. It plans to continue to help refugees no matter where they are from.
"If we see anything suspicious, we are going to report it," Aguillard said. "We work with FBI, Homeland Security and do what we need to do to safeguard our community."
The feds say immigration laws prohibit states from blocking refugees from resettling. Calls to the State Department were not returned today.
Update Nov. 17 - Louisiana State Police told News 2 on Tuesday the refugee who briefly stayed in Baton Rouge left for Washington D. C.