Rick Snyder hasn’t said if he opposes attempts to relocate Syrians in his state of Michigan, unlike other governors who will refuse refugees entering from the Middle East. Gov. Rick Snyder said Monday he is not asking that they be stopped or vetted again under a change in the state’s refugee policy he announced Sunday, according to Livingston Daily.
About 20 Syrian refugees already in the pipeline for resettlement in the U.S. either recently arrived in Michigan or are expected to arrive soon.
“That would be a decision that would be up to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security,” which has already put those refugees through a vetting process that’s lasted more than one year, Snyder told reporters after a morning speech in East Lansing.
“Again, they’re the ones making the review. They’re the ones who have reviewed the files and records and made the decision that these individuals were safe to come to our country.”
Rick Snyder’s office also said Monday that it was not making any blanket statement opposing resettlement of Syrian refugees in Michigan, only that his own efforts encouraging it will be suspended until Homeland Security makes a thorough review of its vetting processes. At least 12 other Republican governors, however, said over the last two days that they actively oppose such Syrian refugees being moved into their states in the wake of Friday’s deadly attacks in Paris, including in some cases ordering state agencies to stop any efforts to aid resettlement efforts.
President Barack Obama has said his administration will continue looking at accepting some 10,000 Syrian refugees in the current fiscal year, noting during a press conference in Turkey on Monday that, “Slamming the door in their faces would be a betrayal of our values.” He added that his administration will make sure those coming in will continue to face “robust vetting procedures,” however.
But many elected officials have expressed worries that terrorists could pose as refugees to move between countries. News media reports have said one of the attackers in Paris had a Syrian passport and, according to the Associated Press and others, the Paris prosecutors’ office said fingerprints from that attacker match those of someone who passed through Greece last month.
“(T)he reality is, there is no database on Syria making it impossible to adequately screen these refugees,” U.S. Rep. Candice Miller, R-Harrison Township, said Monday. “The United States has a long history of helping refugees from across the globe — one we should be proud of — and we will continue to help. However, in doing so, we must make certain we are not jeopardizing the safety of our homeland and this nation’s citizens.”
Rick Snyder announced in September he was working with the federal government to determine the process for accepting additional refugees from the ongoing crisis in Syria and the Middle East. He hadn’t set a target number for how many he thought Michigan should accept, but said he was also working with groups in Michigan who help to locate and resettle refugees. On Sunday, citing the attacks in Paris, Snyder said he was suspending those efforts pending a review of Department of Homeland Security procedures.