Boots & Sabers

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1035, 27 Apr 16

Kansas Stops Accepting Syrian Refugees

I seem to remember our president assuring us that all of these refugees would be thoroughly vetted to make sure we aren’t letting terrorists infiltrate our nation by taking advantage of our generosity as a nation. Not so much

(Reuters) – Kansas is withdrawing from plans to resettle Syrian refugees in the state after the federal government failed to provide security information on them, Republican Governor Sam Brownback said on Tuesday.

Brownback said in a statement that he repeatedly asked the administration of President Barack Obama for documentation on the screening of refugees who would be relocated from Syria to Kansas.

“Because the federal government has failed to provide adequate assurances regarding refugees it is settling in Kansas, we have no option but to end our cooperation with and participation in the federal refugee resettlement program,” Brownback said.

But, of course, our imperial federal government doesn’t care about what states think.

Kevin Griffis, a spokesman for the federal Health and Human Services Department, said that “refugee resettlement will continue in Kansas, coordinated by non-profit organizations.”

More than 30 governors attempted to block refugees from their states, but courts and attorneys general have said that it is up to the federal government to screen refugees and settle them.


1035, 27 April 2016

1 Comment

  1. Pat

    Brownback had already issued an executive order in November stating that “no department, commission, board, or agency of the government of the State of Kansas shall aid, cooperate with, or assist in any way the relocation of refugees from Syria to the State of Kansas.” Tuesday’s announcement would apply to refugees from any country. But while the move sounds drastic, it’s mostly a symbolic act that will have little on-the-ground impact for refugees or public safety.

    For one, pulling out of the federal resettlement program doesn’t mean refugees won’t be allowed to live in Kansas. While Indiana and other states have tried to bar Syrians from entering their borders, they aren’t actually able to do so. Like any other visa holders, refugees are able to go anywhere in the United States they’d like. It also doesn’t mean that support for refugees who are currently living in Kansas or may move there will dry up. The funds that state agencies use for refugee aid are almost entirely federal money, and the Department of Health and Human Services retains control over the funds even if state employees or agencies don’t take part. In those cases, Health and Human Services simply appoints another organization to administer the money. “This is the situation in some other states, usually because their resettlement program is very small,” says Stacie Blake, the director of government and community relations at the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, one of the nonprofit groups that resettles refugees. “The money is not ‘lost.'”

    According to data from the State Department, only five Syrians have settled in Kansas since October last year.

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