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Politics
Covering state lawmakers, bills, and policy emerging from Jefferson City.

In Aftermath of Paris Attacks, Gov. Nixon Calls on Stronger Screenings

Gov. Jay Nixon
KSMU Archives

Missouri’s Democratic Governor Jay Nixon is calling on strong screening from the feds in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Paris.

Nixon made his stance public Monday afternoon as several governors are announcing opposition to relocating Syrian refugees in their states, including Republican Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas.

In a statement, Nixon called on “federal partners to implement the strongest possible safeguards to protect our state and nation.” He noted that the screening process for refugees is the responsibility of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Here's is Nixon's full statement:

“The safety of Missourians is my highest priority, and the terrorists who were involved in planning and perpetrating the attacks in Paris must be caught and brought to justice,” Gov. Nixon said. “The screening process for refugees is the responsibility of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and I call on our federal partners to implement the strongest possible safeguards to protect our state and nation.”

Arkansas’ governor said he doesn't believe the United States should be a permanent place of relocation for the refugees. In a statement, Hutchinson said that while many of the Syrian refugees are fleeing violence in their own country, he believes Europe, Asia or Africa are logically the best places for resettlement or temporary asylum.

Here is Hutchinson's full statement:

“As governor, I oppose any facility or installation in Arkansas being used as a Syrian refugee center.   Many of the Syrian refugees are fleeing violence in their own country but Europe, Asia or Africa are logically the best places for resettlement or for temporary asylum.  Syria is a war torn country and the United States will support our European friends in fighting ISIL in Syria and elsewhere; however, this is not the right strategy for the United States to become a permanent place of relocation.  Again, I will oppose Arkansas being used as such a relocation center.

“The hardships facing these refugees and their families are beyond most of our understanding, and my thoughts and prayers are with them, but I will not support a policy that is not the best solution and that poses risk to Arkansans."