With Gov. Jay Nixon saying he won’t seek to block Syrian refugees from resettling in Missouri, Republican state Rep. Mike Moon is calling for a special legislative session to “tie the governor’s hands” and stop “the potential Islamization of Missouri.”
In a letter to House Speaker Todd Richardson calling for a special session, Moon expresses concern over whether the federal government can adequately scrutinize refugees seeking asylum in the United States. He says he is specifically concerned about Muslim refugees lying to federal authorities in order to make their way into the country.
“And, from what I’ve seen, a practicing Muslim comes in all flavors (black, white, brown, yellow —American, African, European, etc. etc.),” Moon, a Republican from Ash Grove, says in the letter. “A ‘white’ lie could allow an individual to pass through the vetting process.”
Governors in 30 states across the country have called for the resettlement of Syrian refugees to stop until security concerns can be addressed. Joining that call in Missouri were dozens of Republican lawmakers, three GOP candidates for governor and Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster.
Putting a halt to refugee resettlement would “ensure we are preventing terrorists from entering our country,” said Koster, the only Democrat currently running for governor.
Nixon, a Democrat, released a statement Monday saying the refugee question is a federal issue.
In addition to calling for a special legislative session, Moon suggests establishing refugee camps to hold Syrians fleeing the war-torn country until they can be “returned safely home when the time is right.”
Lawmakers, Moon said, must take action to stop refugees from coming to Missouri.
“For the safety of Missourians, we can ill-afford to wait,” Moon says in the letter to Richardson. “I ask that you begin the process of calling the General Assembly into special session in order to tie the governor’s hands, putting a stop to the potential Islamization of Missouri.”
Three-fourths of the members of both the House and Senate would have to vote in favor of calling a special legislative session.
Richardson’s office has not yet responded to a request for comment about the possibility of a special session. But in a letter to Nixon sent on Tuesday, Richardson asked the governor to demand that the federal government implement a more thorough screening process before any refugees are allowed to relocate to the United States, and specifically to Missouri.
“Throughout its history, America has provided refuge to the tired, the poor and the huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” Richardson wrote, “and it is imperative that our doors remain open to those who come to our nation with good intent, while at the same time turning away the terrorists who would do us harm.”
Read Richardson’s below.