Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon have weighed in — carefully — on the Syrian refugee crisis.
Several governors in other states, most of them Republican, have said they will try to bar the United States from resettling Syrian refugees in their states. The governors in Michigan and Alabama started the trend, and now almost every governor in the nation is chiming in.
“It is unfortunate that we must take this step to protect the safety of Kansans, but the federal government cannot guarantee that Syrian refugees coming to America would not be part of a terrorist organization seeking to harm our citizens,” his statement said.
“America has always provided a refuge for the oppressed and those who seek freedom. However, we must be sure that we are not admitting terrorists as we try to help the innocents who desire the opportunity for a better life and the basic liberty of religious freedom. Most people seeking refugee status are peaceful individuals looking for a better life. But we cannot allow an influx of Syrian refugees, without any meaningful security checks, while ISIS is promising to infiltrate the refugee process.”
Brownback’s statement does not say he would absolutely prohibit refugees from settling in the state. It’s possible no governor has the authority to impose a ban on federal resettlement of refugees.
Nixon’s statement is even more vague. “The screening process for refugees is the responsibility of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and I call on our federal partners to implement the strongest possible safeguards to protect our state and nation,” it said.
Again, no absolute bar on refugees.