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

Many Missouri Senators Support Suspending Syrian Relocation Program

Scott Harvey
Capitol Building in Jefferson City/Credit: Scott Harvey

20 Republican state senators have now joined in calling on Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon to suspend the acceptance of Syrian refugees relocating in Missouri.

On Monday in the aftermath of the attacks in Paris, Nixon said he wants “federal partners to implement the strongest possible safeguards to protect our state and nation.” But he stopped short of refusing refugees from settling in Missouri, which other governors – including Arkansas’ Asa Hutchinson – are in favor of.

The Associated Press reports that the president and CEO of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigration says under the Refugee Act of 1980 governors cannot legally block refugees.

Since Jan. 1, 29 Syrian refugees have settled in Missouri.

The list of 20 state senators urging the governor to suspend the relocation program includes Jay Wasson of Nixa, Mike Parson of Bolivar, and Ron Richard of Joplin.

“The State of Missouri will not be forced to make up for this administration’s mishandling of America’s foreign policy,” Richard said in a statement Monday. “We will not idly stand by while our citizens are put in harm’s way. We call upon our governor to do his duty and protect the safety and well-being of the citizens of the Show-Me State by opposing this misguided plan.”

As of Tuesday afternoon, here is the list of senators calling on Nixon to suspend the program:

  • Sen. Dan Brown, R-Rolla
  • Sen. Mike Cunningham, R-Rogersville
  • Sen. Ed Emery, R-Lamar
  • Sen. Dan Hegeman, R-Cosby
  • Sen. Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City
  • Sen. Will Kraus, R-Lee’s Summit
  • Sen. Brian Munzlinger, R-Williamstown
  • Sen. Bob Onder, R-Lake St. Louis
  • Sen. Mike Parson, R-Bolivar
  • Sen. Ron Richard, R-Joplin
  • Sen. Jeanie Riddle, R-Callaway County
  • Sen. Gary Romine, R-Farmington
  • Sen. David Sater, R-Cassville
  • Sen. Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph
  • Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia
  • Sen. Dave Schatz, R-Sullivan
  • Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale
  • Sen. Ryan Silvey, R-Kansas City
  • Sen. Wayne Wallingford, R-Cape Girardeau
  • Sen. Jay Wasson, R-Nixa
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