Majority Leader Lorigo responds to Poloncarz dodging questions

After reading County Executive Poloncarz’s statement yesterday, I am disappointed in his feigned position of helplessness.  In September, when refugees were desperately fleeing Syria, and it was politically beneficial to do so, Mark Poloncarz said, “We will be opening our arms again to help Syrians in need.” Now, after terrorist strike in the hear t of Paris, he changes his tune, claiming that Erie County has no say in the process, and that it is the Federal and State government who decides.  This is political hypocrisy at its worst.


Instead of taking the lead on this issue, our County Executive acts helpless.  The fact is that Mark Poloncarz is not as helpless as he claims in this situation.  He has the ability to stand up for the safety of Erie County and its residents, or sit idly by and do nothing.  Unfortunately for us, he has chosen to act helpless.  In doing so, he has left a number of questions unanswered: 

1.        Is Mark Poloncarz willing to urge Governor Cuomo to place on hold all efforts to accept new refugees until the U.S. Department of Homeland Security completes a full review of security clearances and procedures, like Governor Snyder did in Michigan?  If not, it’s only because he doesn’t want to. 

2.       Will Mark Poloncarz tell Erie County families how many Syrian “refugees” coming here are completely undocumented?  

3.      Will he tell Erie County how many are military-aged men?  Does he not know?  

4.      If not, then what exactly is he doing, just taking orders? 

5.       Are all Erie County residents with safety concerns (after watching the attacks on Paris by fake refugees) ignorant, or just Mr. Poloncarz’s governmental opposition?  In Michigan, a state much like New York, there are leaders speaking up at both the state and local level.  Just because Mark Poloncarz isn’t the final authority doesn’t make him helpless.  

This is not the time for the County Executive to retreat; this is the time to demand safety for the residents of Erie County. Quite frankly, it is disturbing that he has been allowed a pass, claiming this is out of his hands, when just a few short weeks ago he was praised for leading this effort.


It’s time for Mark Poloncarz to stop the name-calling, and answer oversight questions about the details of his involvement in bringing Syrian refugees to Erie County.  In light of the fact that Homeland Security is taking ISIS’s claims to already have 4,000 terrorists disguised as refugees in Western Countries seriously, we must do everything we can to ensure safety.  

Legislator Lorigo

Phone: (716) 858-8922
Fax: (716) 858-8818

Legislator Joseph C. Lorigo - District 10
Old Erie County Hall
92 Franklin Street, 4th Floor
Buffalo, NY 14202