Governor Pence Joins Letter to President Urging Exhaustive Review of U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program

In wake of attacks in Paris, Governor Pence and others request that Syrian refugee program be suspended until gaps acknowledged by FBI Director are addressed

 

Indianapolis – Today, Governor Mike Pence joined a multi-governor letter to President Barack Obama urging the suspension of plans to resettle additional Syrian refugees until an exhaustive review of all security measures has been completed. This letter follows findings that a Syrian refugee was among the perpetrators of the terrorist attacks that took place in Paris.

 

Governor Pence announced earlier this week that Indiana would suspend the resettlement of Syrian Refugees in Indiana “pending assurances from the federal government that proper security measures have been achieved.”

 

The letter was signed by 27 governors, and states that “In the wake of this recent tragedy, and until we can ensure the citizens of our states that an exhaustive review of all security measures has been completed and the necessary changes have been implemented, we respectfully request that you suspend all plans to resettle additional Syrian refugees.”

Key excerpts from the letter to the President include:

 

“Our country has long served as a welcoming beacon to individuals and families who seek safety and refugee status within the borders of the United States.”

 

“…we are deeply concerned that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria may have exploited the generosity of the refugee system to carry out Friday’s terrorist attack in Paris.”

 

“Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, James Comey… admitted to certain inadequacies in the system that would prevent the thorough vetting of the 10,000 refugees your administration has pledged to admit into the United States.”

 

“As governors, we are charged with ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our citizens. In order to adequately fulfill this duty, we request that you immediately review the process by which you conduct background checks on all individuals applying for refugee status and address the gaps acknowledged by your director of the FBI.”

 

“In the wake of this recent tragedy, and until we can ensure the citizens of our states that an exhaustive review of all security measures has been completed and the necessary changes have been implemented, we respectfully request that you suspend all plans to resettle additional Syrian refugees.”

 

The letter in full can be found below:

 

November 20, 2015

 

The Honorable Barack Obama

President of the United States

The White House

Washington, DC 20500

 

Dear Mr. President:

Our country has long served as a welcoming beacon to individuals and families who seek safety and refugee status within the borders of the United States. For years we have been proud to welcome refugees into our communities in their pursuit of a better life and future. However, we are deeply concerned that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria may have exploited the generosity of the refugee system to carry out Friday’s terrorist attack in Paris. While the tragic event was a direct assault on the European Union’s refugee system, the potential for this situation to arise in the United States is escalated by information revealed by the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, James Comey. In testimony before Congress, he admitted to certain inadequacies in the system that would prevent the thorough vetting of the 10,000 refugees your administration has pledged to admit into the United States. As governors, we are charged with ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our citizens. In order to adequately fulfill this duty, we request that you immediately review the process by which you conduct background checks on all individuals applying for refugee status and address the gaps acknowledged by your director of the FBI. In the wake of this recent tragedy, and until we can ensure the citizens of our states that an exhaustive review of all security measures has been completed and the necessary changes have been implemented, we respectfully request that you suspend all plans to resettle additional Syrian refugees.

Sincerely,

Governor Robert Bentley, Alabama

Governor Douglas A. Ducey, Arizona

Governor Asa Hutchinson, Arkansas

Governor Rick Scott, Florida

Governor Nathan Deal, Georgia

Governor C. L. “Butch” Otter, Idaho

Governor Bruce Rauner, Illinois

Governor Michael R. Pence, Indiana

Governor Terry E. Branstad, Iowa

Governor Sam Brownback, Kansas

Governor Bobby Jindal, Louisiana

Governor Paul R. LePage, Maine

Governor Pete Ricketts, Nebraska

Governor Brian Sandoval, Nevada

Governor Chris Christie, New Jersey

Governor Susana Martinez, New Mexico

Governor Pat McCrory, North Carolina

Governor Jack Dalrymple, North Dakota

Governor John R. Kasich, Ohio

Governor Mary Fallin, Oklahoma

Governor Nikki Haley, South Carolina

Governor Dennis Daugaard, South Dakota

Governor Bill Haslam, Tennessee

Governor Greg Abbott, Texas

Governor Gary R. Herbert, Utah

Governor Scott Walker, Wisconsin

Governor Matthew H. Mead, Wyoming

 

 

 

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