* Gov. Bruce Rauner…
“Our nation and our state have a shared history of providing safe haven for those displaced by conflict, but the news surrounding the Paris terror attacks reminds us of the all-too-real security threats facing America. We must find a way to balance our tradition as a state welcoming of refugees while ensuring the safety and security of our citizens. Therefore, the state of Illinois will temporarily suspend accepting new Syrian refugees and consider all of our legal options pending a full review of our country’s acceptance and security processes by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.”
On the one hand, I can see the worry about terrorists slipping in with the refugees.
On the other hand, however, those refugees are leaving Syria to flee those very same terrorists.
…Adding… We’re not talking big numbers. From September…
So far in 2015, 94 refugees from Syria have been resettled in Illinois, 62 of them in Chicago, according to data from the Refugee Processing Center, operated by the U.S. State Department. That’s about three times the placements in all of last year, with 24 Syrian refugees resettled in Illinois, 18 of which were in Chicago. Those numbers, though, don’t include Syrians seeking asylum, a separate process.
…Adding More… According to CBS, other Republican governors have done the same, including in Indiana, Michigan and Alabama.
…Adding Still More… A state by state look is here.
*** UPDATE 1 *** I just had a long conversation with someone in the administration. I think people on both sides should probably stand down. The key word here is “temporarily.” They just want to pause this while they get some more assurances from the federal government about who is being brought in, what their backgrounds really are, etc.
Also, they’re very sensitive to the fact that some of these refugees are Christians fleeing radical Islamic tyranny - which some of the far right commenters here and elsewhere should probably try to consider.
Again, it’s a pause, not a full stop.
To be clear, states still retain the power to deny their own resources to the federal government, so they could potentially make settlement of refugees more difficult than it would be if the states cooperated. Nevertheless, an act of Congress — the Refugee Act of 1980 — has given Obama broad discretion to allow refugees to be admitted into the United States.
And that’s what we’re looking at here - state IDHS resources.
*** UPDATE 2 *** Sen. Mark Kirk vs. Congressman Tammy Duckworth in Crain’s…
“The Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and FBI Director James Comey have cautioned that terrorist infiltration of Syrian refugees is possible based on our limited ability (to) screen all Syrian refugees,” Kirk said in a statement. “No refugee related to the Syrian crisis should be admitted to the United States unless the (Obama) administration can guarantee, with 100 percent assurance, that they are not members, supporters or sympathizers of ISIS.” […]
“We should differentiate between the refugee crisis and those who do the work of ISIS,” [Duckworth] told reporters, noting that her northwest suburban district now is home to 700 refugees. U.S. security personnel know what they are doing, she continued, noting that 20 percent of them are children. “If we don’t deal with the refugee crisis, some of those kids will grow up to be terrorists,” she said.
Duckworth said she “could not imagine” taking her infant daughter, Abigail, packing up their things, and walking across the country to a dingy in the ocean “because that’s safer” than staying home.
“We are better than that as a nation,” she said, noting that she’s supported a plan to allow up to 200,000 to come to America. “We should keep the refugees.”
*** UPDATE 3 *** US Senate candidate Andrea Zopp…
“I believe that this is a humanitarian crisis, and we can’t turn our back on our values. With over a decade of experience in law enforcement, I know better than most that we need to do the proper background checks, but banning Syrian refugees from Illinois makes no sense. This is another example of Governor Rauner ignoring those in need.”