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White House, Governors Talk About Syrian Refugees

Published: Tuesday, November 17, 2015 - 4:14pm
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Governor Doug Ducey is among more than 20 governors calling for an immediate stop to refugee placement in their state.

Ducey was scheduled to take part in a governor’s-only conference call on Syrian refugees at 3p.m. Tuesday.

In a statement, he said he’s invoking the state’s right to “receive immediate consultation by federal authorities per the United States Refugee Act, and that the federal government take into account the concerns and recommendations of the state of Arizona as they are required to under federal law, in our efforts to keep our homeland safe.”

Ducey’s spokesman, Daniel Scarpinato, said the governor thinks that consultation is important.

"He’s calling for an immediate halt until this consultation because he believes that that’s important, because he believes our priority and his priority as governor needs to be the safety and security of Arizonans first and foremost," Scarpinato said.

In his statement, the governor also called on Congress and the president to give states more legal oversight and authority in the placement of refugees. Some states have called for an end to the placement of refugees from Syria, but Scarpinato said Governor Ducey’s action applies to those from everywhere.

"This is aimed at ensuring that there are no refugees in the state of Arizona who have connections to terrorist organizations. And until we have assurance of that, he’s calling for an immediate halt of all refugees," he said.

The statements from Ducey and other governors have led to criticism. One of those critics is Ian Millhiser. He’s the justice editor at Think Progress, a self-described progressive website run by the Center for American Progress. Millhiser’s article is called, “No, State Governors Can’t Refuse to Accept Syrian Refugees.”

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