This weekend, the State Department has confirmed that fourteen Syrian refugees have be relocated to Louisiana.

One person was relocated to Baton Rouge, while the remaining individuals were relocated to New Orleans and Kenner.

Mark Garber, one of the candidates for Lafayette Parish Sheriff, issued a statement about Syrian refugees in our state, and Friday's terrorist attacks in Paris:


"This past weekend, we were all reminded of the threat terrorist organizations pose to our global community.  Our community now faces imminent threats from both traditional crime and foreign terrorism.  It is a fact that Syrian refugees have been slated to come to our community and this provides an opportunity for ISIS and other terror organizations to embed members amongst said refugees.  The warning that terrorists are already here was issued by ISIS yesterday.  If there is one thing I have learned in my years of working in counter-terrorism, no threat is to be taken lightly when dealing with extremists.  Indeed, evidence indicates that some of the France attackers held Syrian passports and history tells us that terrorists will often embed themselves in communities for years prior to being activated to stage an attack.

I join the thousands of Lafayette residents that have voiced their concern and do not want the U.S. government to bring these refugees to our home.  However, even with our opposition, there is a chance they will be brought here.  As our next Sheriff, I intend to use my extensive background in counter terrorism to make sure our city is safe.  I will insist on thorough screening and vetting and will pursue a robust and aggressive intelligence program to counteract threats to our community.

My service with the Department of Defense as a counter intelligence agent and criminal investigator and my experience as a Special Agent with the United States Secret Service has prepared me well to lead Lafayette Parish and has uniquely prepared me to best protect this community from emerging domestic and foreign terrorist threats.  It is critical that law enforcement engage these emerging threats aggressively by advanced intelligence gathering and coordination with State and Federal counterparts.

I have the experience operating at a national and international level to recognize and deal with these threats and solemnly promise that all of my experience and training will be aggressively brought to bear on this issue."

Garber will face Chad Leger is this Saturday's election for the job of Lafayette Parish Sheriff.