GOP lawmaker asks Va. governor to refuse Syrian refugees

WASHINGTON — More than a dozen state governors are refusing to accept Syrian refugees following the Paris attacks, and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is being asked to follow suit.

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Republican state Sen. Dick Black, who represents parts of Loudoun and Prince William Counties, sent a letter to the governor asking him not to accept Syrian refugees for settlement in Virginia.

“We have got to start thinking about who we are bringing into this country,” Black says.

A Syrian passport was found near the body of one of those who attacked Paris. Black says he thinks the risk is too great.

“I think we can say for certain that there are ISIS personnel among them (the Syrian refugees),” Black says.

The State Department has promised stringent security checks of Syrian refugees, which Black scoffs at.

“They don’t vet anybody. These people don’t have records. They just ask them, are you an ISIS terrorist?” Black says.

States rejecting federal settlement of Syrian refugees include: Maine; Massachusetts; Ohio; Illinois; Indiana; Nebraska; Texas; Oklahoma; Idaho; Arkansas; Arizona; Louisiana; Mississippi; South Carolina; North Carolina; and Georgia.

The Obama administration says it stands by its plan to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees in the United States in the coming year. Black is not optimistic his request of the governor will be heeded.

“I think it’s almost certain that they will be sent here because Governor McAuliffe, of course, is very close to the president,” Black says.

Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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