RICHARDSON, Texas -- When the Syrian Civil War broke out, Motaz Alafandi was working in Saudi Arabia. He knew returning to his home country was not an option.
“I might be kidnapped, I might be killed, I might be jailed,” he said.
So, he brought his wife and four children to Dallas in 2014 and began the long process of applying for political asylum.
“The U.S. government is making a very wide security check -- all Syrians trying to enter the country because of ISIS,” Alafandi said.
Now, Governor Abbott is declaring he wants Texas “off-limits” to more Syrian refugees, and Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz is stoking fears in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks.
“It’s lunacy to bring refugees to America who may be terrorists trying to murder Americans,” Cruz said over the weekend.
Alafandi says he feels demonized, “It feels bad, so very bad. I mean, we’ve never been terrorists. We’ve just been trying to live a simple life and work hard.”
Now, he feels Muslims are being unfairly stereotyped by the image of the Islamic State.
“They have nothing to do with Islam. This is not the spirit of Islam,” explained Alafandi.
He compares it to the Charleston massacre by Dylan Room, arguing no one blames white Christians for that act of terror.
“Why don`t we think that Christians are terrorists, no one said that no one dared to say that,” he said, “But he is a terrorist.”
Now Alafandi continues to wait in “asylum limbo” trying to support his family in their new homeland.
“We are just trying to survive ourselves and find our kids a safe place to grow up in.”