Governor Pat McCrory announced today that he is asking President Barack Obama to cease sending any refugees from Syria to North Carolina. The governor made the announcement at a news conference this afternoon in Charlotte. The request is being sent in a letter from the governor to the president.
“North Carolina has a proud tradition of providing a hand-up for those in need, including international refugees,” said Governor McCrory. “However, because President Obama has increased the number of refugees from Syria coming into the United States from 2,000 to 10,000 and because of the terrorist attacks in Paris and the very real possibility that one of the terrorists entered France as a recent refugee, I am requesting that the federal government cease sending refugees from Syria to North Carolina.”
Governor McCrory said North Carolina should not receive any additional refugees until he is satisfied with the thoroughness and effectiveness of federal background and security checks conducted on refugees entering the United States. The governor cited the September findings of a congressional task force which stated that U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies are concerned about terrorists posing as refugees.
McCrory suggested that Obama “take a deep breath and ask, ‘Are all of the people coming from Syria safe?’ We cannot know that they are. Therefore, our top priority must be to protect the people of North Carolina.”
Both House Majority Leader Mike Hager and House Majority Whip Bell were quick to thank Governor McCrory for joining several other governors across the U.S. in taking action on Syrian refugees, including the chief executives of Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi and Texas.
“I am glad to see Governor McCrory follow in the footsteps of multiple Governors by taking measures to prevent Syrian refugees from being resettled in North Carolina,” said Representative Bell. “I want to personally thank him for taking swift action to keep our country safe from the threat this could bring to the citizens and property of North Carolina. While I understand the need to provide asylum for those facing persecution, we cannot do it at the expense of the security of our citizens and I proudly stand by Governor McCrory.”
“I want to thank Governor McCrory for taking a stand and not allowing the relocation of refugees until further background checks are conducted,” added Representative Hager. “It is inexcusable that we have not received background information on the current refugees in this state and that these records need to be disclosed. Thank you, Governor, for listening to our concerns, by taking this stand, and ensuring the safety of our citizens.”
Francis De Luca, President of the Civitas Institute in Raleigh, also applauded Governor for asking Obama and the federal government to stop sending Syrian refugees to North Carolina. “The brutal murder of people in Paris reminds us that, sadly, terrorists can hide among the innocent,” De Luca said. “It is vital to halt the influx of Syrians and others from the Middle East until we can ensure none are threats to the people of North Carolina.”
Governor McCrory said he has directed the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Public Safety to coordinate with the appropriate federal agencies.
“My primary duty as governor is to protect the citizens of North Carolina,” concluded Governor McCrory. “Which is why I am taking the steps I have outlined today.”