USA (MNN/Bethany) — The governors of 26 U.S. states say they will not resettle any refugees from Syria in their states.
— New Hampshire
— North Carolina
— South Carolina
The announcements come amid reports that at least one of the Paris attackers slipped through Europe’s immigration system, and concerns about “gaping holes” impacting America’s screening process.
“Michigan is a welcoming state and we are proud of our rich history of immigration,” Governor Rick Snyder said in a statement. “But our first priority is protecting the safety of our residents.”
Bethany Christian Services, which is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, released the following statement in light of a refugee resettlement program in which they participate:
We are deeply saddened by the attacks in Paris and grieve for those who have lost loved ones. We pray for their strength in this tragic time.
We understand Governor Snyder’s decision to suspend acceptance of Syrian refugees into Michigan. We anticipate this is a temporary response to a devastating situation. Millions of Syrians are fleeing their homes to resettle in neighboring countries. There are still thousands waiting to be resettled. All refugees coming to the United States are vetted first through the United Nations and then through U.S. authorities, including the National Counterterrorism Center, the Terrorist Screening Center, the Department of Defense, the FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security. This screening process can take up to two years.
Many refugees are children who arrive as unaccompanied minors, having been separated from their families abroad as they fled violence or disaster. In partnership with local churches and community agencies, Bethany Christian Services provides support to refugee and immigrant families to help them adjust to a new life in the United States.
For more information on the security screening of refugees admitted to the United States, visit http://www.state.gov/j/prm/ra/admissions/index.htm or www.refugees.org.