* From the governor’s office…
Readout of Governor Rauner Calls with WH Chief of Staff and Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security
CHICAGO – The following is a statement attributed to Lance Trover, Director of Communications:
“Governor Rauner and White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough spoke by phone late Friday about the governor’s unanswered requests for information related to the Syrian refugee program. The Governor affirmed his commitment to be a partner with the federal government on the resettlement of refugees and noted a growing frustration over the federal government’s refusal to address specific security concerns and requests for information. Mr. McDonough offered to have Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas call the Governor to address his specific concerns. Governor Rauner and Deputy Secretary Mayorkas late Friday spoke by phone in follow-up to the Governor’s discussion with the White House Chief of Staff. Deputy Secretary Mayorkas expressed his interest in helping address the Governor’s requests for information about Syrian refugees coming to Illinois but said privacy concerns may preclude the federal government from sharing such information. Deputy Secretary Mayorkas agreed to assemble a team to address the Governor’s questions and would follow-up with the Governor’s Office to schedule a briefing time.”
The Governor’s requests for information are as basic as it gets: who’s coming and when? As of today, the federal government refuses to provide prior notification to state officials before resettling Syrian refugees in that state and refuses to share the security background check vetting information conducted by federal intelligence agencies with that state’s law enforcement officials. While federal and state law enforcement work closely on a range of security issues, the federal government refuses to cooperate with states on information relating to Syrian refugees.