Status on Indiana and Syrian Refugees

Following reports that a Syrian refugee was among the perpetrators of the terrorists attacks that took place in Paris on Friday, Governor Mike Pence issued the following statement on Monday, November 16:

“In the wake of the horrific attacks in Paris, effective immediately, I am directing all state agencies to suspend the resettlement of additional Syrian refugees in the state of Indiana pending assurances from the federal government that proper security measures have been achieved. Indiana has a long tradition of opening our arms and homes to refugees from around the world but, as governor, my first responsibility is to ensure the safety and security of all Hoosiers. Unless and until the state of Indiana receives assurances that proper security measures are in place, this policy will remain in full force and effect.”

Now U.S, Senator for the State of Indiana, Joe Donnelly had this to say in response to Governor Pences statement.

“I share the Governor’s concerns, and think it’s necessary to ask questions about the process of screening Syrian refugees until every one of those questions is answered. When it comes to our national security, we should not take any shortcuts and we must have assurances that we can protect our safety and security here at home.”

The White House planned a conference call late Tuesday afternoon with governors about plans to increase the number of refugees accepted in the United States after governors raised concerns that terrorists might use the refugees as cover to sneak across borders.

More than half of U.S. governors have objected to plans to resettle Syrian refugees in the United States, with some declaring that they will not allow resettlement in their states after the deadly attacks in Paris. But the federal government controls resettlement programs, and state authorities have very little legal authority to bar refugees from moving to their states.

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