- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 24, 2015

PATERSON, N.J. (AP) - A family from Syria will settle in northern New Jersey a week after Gov. Chris Christie told President Barack Obama that the state wouldn’t accept any more Syrian refugees.

An interfaith group of Muslims, Christians and Jews said it is preparing an apartment in Paterson for a family of seven set to arrive next week, The Record reports (https://bit.ly/1PMNyzw ).

Experts said states don’t have the authority to stop refugees and New Jersey state agencies don’t play a large role in resettling refugees, except for those that might need medical or financial assistance. New Jersey has accepted 75 Syrian refugees so far this year, according to data from the Refugee Processing Center.

Christie said in a letter to Obama that he was ordering state agencies not to assist in resettling any Syrian refugees because of terrorism concerns following the Paris attacks.

He said in a speech in Washington on Tuesday that he’d be willing to reconsider his stance on Syrian refugees if he can be convinced that it can be done safely.

“When the FBI director tells me he can do it, then I’ll reconsider,” he said. “But not until then.”

Christie is just one of a long list of governors across the U.S. to take the position in the aftermath of the attacks, which have stoked new fears about the potential risk caused by the flood of migrants trying to escape from Syria’s brutal civil war.

“We have people in the political world with big pulpits saying terrible things about these families,” Seth Kaper-Dale, pastor of the Highland Park Reformed Church, told The Record. “That’s a sin, when someone is down and you beat them again.”

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Associated Press writer Jill Colvin, in Washington, contributed to this story.

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