"No one else is to be blamed but me": Mayor Bowers apologizes for statement

(Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - Roanoke Mayor David Bowers has apologized for a statement regarding the Syrian refugee crisis that caused outrage across the United States and the world.

The mayor apologized during a special called city council meeting in Roanoke.

He said he didn't intend his statement to trend internationally nor did he intend his statement to be racist or bigoted.

"No one is to be blamed but me," Bowers said.

The apology came two days after Bowers issued a letter requesting "all Roanoke Valley governments and non-government agencies suspend and delay any further Syrian refugee assistance" as a result of last week's deadly attacks in Paris, in which one of the suspects is believed to have gotten into the city by posing as a refugee fleeing Syrian.

In that letter, he also made controversial comments about the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II saying, "I'm reminded that President Franklin D. Roosevelt felt compelled to sequester Japanese foreign nationals after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and it appeals that the threat of harm to America from ISIS now is just as real and serious as that from our enemies then."