Walker: Wisconsin Will Not Accept New Syrian Refugees

Nov 16, 2015

Governor Walker has instructed his administration not to resettle refugees from Syria. The order comes Tuesday, following a letter he sent to President Obama, asking  him not to relocate Syrian refugees in Wisconsin. Otherwise, Walker says, he will do what he can to make sure they don't stay here.

The governor says he is concerned that terrorists, such as one connected to Friday night's attacks in Paris, could slip through the federal screening process and "pose a potential risk to our people." It is unclear whether Walker and about 20 other concerned governors have the legal authority to reject or refuse to provide services for refugees.

The Obama administration plans to resettle 10,000 people fleeing Syria because it is in the midst of violent civil war. Walker says the U.S. should suspend the program, until leaders fully vet and secure the process. He says America's first priority must be to protect its citizens.

"There may be those who will try to take advantage of the generosity of our country and the ability to move freely within our borders through this federal resettlement program, and we must ensure we are doing all we can to safeguard the security of Americans," Walker said via a written release.

Also on Monday, Republican leaders of the state Assembly announced that 50 GOP members have signed a letter headed for President Obama's administration.

"With no guarantee that a refugee does not have an association with radical Islamic terrorists, we cannot take any chances. This is not the time to open our doors to Syrian refugees," according to Assembly Speaker Robin Vos.