Governor Fallin urges president to suspend accepting Syrian refugees

Governor Fallin urges president to suspend accepting Syrian refugees

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla._Governor Mary Fallin is urging President Barack Obama to suspend accepting Syrian refugees into the United States in the wake of deadly terror attacks in Paris being linked to the Islamic State.

"The Obama administration needs to assure the public that the background checks they are doing are rigorous, and that American lives will not be endangered in the process," said Governor Fallin. "Until then, I call on the Obama administration to suspend any Syrian refugees into the United States. During these uncertain times, the Obama administration needs to make sure those entering the United States are not terrorists."

During a U.S. Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing last week, FBI Director James Comey said there is a risk bringing anybody in from the outside, but especially from a conflict zone like Syria.

"The American people need to be assured that national security will not be compromised," said Governor Fallin. "We must maintain a strict verification process against possible terrorists."

The governor said she has confidence in the two refugee processing affiliates in the state. Catholic Charities in Oklahoma City and Catholic Charities in Tulsa have the responsibility of placing refugees in the state.

Since 2012, three refugees from Syria have been placed in Jenks, according to information from Catholic Charities in Tulsa and the U.S. Department of State.  The three—aged 50, 44 and 14—were brought to Jenks to live with family members.

Catholic Charities in Tulsa and in Oklahoma City predominantly only assist refugees seeking family reunification.

"Oklahomans have welcomed refugees escaping religious persecution for many years and will continue to do so," Governor Fallin said.

According to the U.S. Department of State's latest report, no refugees from Syria were admitted to Oklahoma during October. The State Department's Refugee Processing Center reported 54 refugees came to Oklahoma during October. All were from Burma.