Governors of five states in America say they won’t block refugee resettlement efforts, presenting a contrast to at least 16 other governors who have vowed not to allow fleeing Syrians into their states.
The governors of Colorado, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Washington say they’ll allow or continue allowing refugees despite the Paris terror attacks.
Led by Alabama and Michigan and building up on November 16, many governors are vowing to do their best to block any Syrian refugees from entering. The situation was propelled by the fact that at least one of the Paris attackers was a refugee from Syria who made his way into France with little vetting.
Most of the governors opposed to resettlement say they would be open to refugees once the Department of Homeland Security reviews its security measures to ensure no terrorists enter the states.
But the other five states say they are confident the Obama administration’s security measures are enough and will accept refugees now.
“A few short days ago we witnessed another senseless act of terrorism. Our hearts go out to the families, friends and loved ones of those lost and injured in Paris, and in other acts of terror around the world,” Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper said in statement.
“Our first priority remains the safety of our residents. We will work with the federal government and Homeland Security to ensure the national verification processes for refugees are as stringent as possible. We can protect our security and provide a place where the world’s most vulnerable can rebuild their lives.”
The White House wants to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees in the next two years. About 1,800 have been accepted so far. The war in the country has displaced around 4 million people.
The divide on the issue has fallen along party lines, with all but one of the governors opposing the refugees being Republican and the five governors still welcoming refugees being Democrats.
Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin says the security measures in place are enough, saying “We root out folks who should not be accepted,” reported the Burlington Free Press.
He also took a swipe at the governors calling for greater security.
“The governors who are taking those actions are stomping on the qualities that make America great,” Shumlin said at an unrelated news conference, “which is reaching out to folks when they’re in trouble and offering them help, not hurting them.”