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Governor Sam Brownback issues Executive Order on refugee resettlement in the face of Paris terror attacks

by Eileen Hawley | Nov 16, 2015

Governor Sam Brownback today signed Executive Order No. 15-07, directing that no state agency, or organization receiving grant money from the state, will participate in or assist in any way in the relocation of Syrian refugees in Kansas. The Governor and Lt. Governor issued the following statements:

Statement from Governor Sam Brownback

“My first priority as Governor is the safety of all Kansans. We must take immediate action to ensure terrorists do not enter the nation or our state under the guise of refugee resettlement. The recent attacks in Paris coupled with terrorist organizations indicating a desire to attack the United States are stark reminders of the dangers every nation faces.

“It is imperative that we take action where the White House has not.

“I have therefore directed all state agencies, departments, boards or commissions not to participate or assist in the relocation of Syrian refugees to Kansas. It is unfortunate that we must take this step to protect the safety of Kansans, but the federal government cannot guarantee that Syrian refugees coming to America would not be part of a terrorist organization seeking to harm our citizens.

“America has always provided a refuge for the oppressed and those who seek freedom. However, we must be sure that we are not admitting terrorists as we try to help the innocents who desire the opportunity for a better life and the basic liberty of religious freedom. Most people seeking refugee status are peaceful individuals looking for a better life. But we cannot allow an influx of Syrian refugees, without any meaningful security checks, while ISIS is promising to infiltrate the refugee process.

“Our resources can be better used to help persecuted Syrians. We must consider whether refugees fleeing the persecution of their home country may be better served by resettlement in a friendly nation closer to their homes. Though America will continue to be a country that defends the oppressed, our allies in the region must also step up to stem the tide of this humanitarian crisis.”

Statement from Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer, M.D.

“The security of Kansas families is our highest priority. While we know the vast majority of Syrian refugees are victims of the atrocities in that region, we must put the safety and well-being of Kansans first.”

For an audio clip of Governor Brownback discussing this issue, click here

The full text of the Executive Order may be found here

Refugee EO signing

State Seal of Kansas