Kansas Governor Broadens Ban on Helping Refugees

by | January 11, 2016

By Edward M. Eveld

Gov. Sam Brownback issued a second executive order on refugee resettlement Friday, broadening his previous order that forbids state agencies from assisting in the resettlement of Syrian refugees to Kansas.

The order Friday, called Protecting Kansas from Terrorism, forbids state departments and agencies from assisting with the relocation of "refugees that present a safety and security risk to the state of Kansas, until such time as an adequate vetting process is in place with adequate assurances to the state."

"Recent events, including the arrest on terrorism charges of two men who entered the country as refugees, demand that we take prudent and responsible action to protect the citizens of Kansas," Brownback said in a statement.

"This is evidence that the Obama administration is disregarding the safety of our citizens through a refugee vetting system that is clearly inadequate," he said.

Brownback came under heavy criticism for his November executive order concerning Syrian refugees. The Obama administration has said refugees are subject to stringent security checks.

Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, who visited refugee camps along the Jordan-Syria border in November with Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson, also issued a statement.

"America will continue to be a country that defends the oppressed, and Kansas will continue to be welcoming to refugees when we can be assured there is no risk to the safety and security of our citizens," Colyer said.

"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," Colyer said. "Our allies in the region must also step up to stem the tide of this humanitarian crisis."

(c)2016 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.)