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Syrian refugees could come to San Diego

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SAN DIEGO – As Congress continues to mull over whether or not to get involved in the Syrian conflict, San Diego is gearing up for a possible influx of Syrian refugees.

During the invasion of Iraq, roughly 800 refugees move to San Diego. Now, the region could soon become home to hundreds of refugees fleeing the Syrian conflict.

“We know now that the conflict has created 2 million refugees,” said Bob Montgomery, executive director for the International Rescue Committee in San Diego. “Four million have been displaced internally within Syria.”

Screen Shot 2013-09-05 at 9.20.34 PMThe I.R.C. has helped thousands of war refugees rebuild their lives in the United States by helping them learn English, find jobs and a place to live.

The group is closely following the developments in Syria and making sure it’s ready for what may be to come.

“I can’t forget the view of the blood on the floor and the sounds of the shots,” said Khalid Taha, who left Syria soon after the “Arab spring,” which was followed by a rise in violence 2 years ago.

Taha works, goes to school and lives in San Diego. He said many in Syria are currently trying to flee in fear of losing their life in midst of the violence.

Meantime, Montgomery said the U.S. has yet to allow the resettlement of additional refugees from Syria, but if the U.S. does take them in, most of them will likely end up in San Diego.

“We’ve had refugees from Iraq for so much time now, we have a lot of resources developed specifically for Arabic speaking people,” Montgomery said.

Watch the full interview with Khalid Taha about the Syrian conflict and how it will impact San Diego.


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