The Buzz

Gov. Sam Brownback pulls Kansas out of refugee resettlement program


Kansas is out of the federal government’s refugee relocation program.

Gov. Sam Brownback on Monday formally notified the Obama administration that Kansas was withdrawing from the program due to concerns for the safety of Kansans.

Beginning in November 2015, Brownback said he had attempted to work with the feds to address security concerns related to resettlement of refugees.

"We made a reasonable request of the Obama administration to provide us with information we need to help protect the safety and security of Kansans," Brownback said in a statement. "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."

In the statement, the governor, along with governors of several states, said he had asked White House officials in November to share vetting information as President Obama pledged to take in 10,000 Syrian refugees. The administration declined citing the privacy rights of the refugees.

"As governor, my priority has been and will continue to be the safety and security of Kansans," Brownback said. "Kansas remains a state that has always been welcoming to refugees, but we must take prudent and responsible actions to protect our communities."