North Carolina

White House to NC Gov. Pat McCrory: Syrian refugees will be rigorously screened

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory speaks during a press conference in Charlotte last week. McCrory asked the federal government to halt the flow of Syrian refugees into their states.
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory speaks during a press conference in Charlotte last week. McCrory asked the federal government to halt the flow of Syrian refugees into their states. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

The Obama administration urged North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory not to stand in the way of the nation’s humanitarian duties and assured him that Syrian refugees will be subject to rigorous security vetting.

McCrory joined more than a dozen other mostly Republican governors in asking the federal government last week to halt the flow of Syrian refugees into their states. One of the aggressors involved in the Paris terror attacks was found to have a fake Syrian passport.

In a letter obtained by The Charlotte Observer, Secretary of State John Kerry and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson explained there is a “thorough and comprehensive” screening involving multiple law enforcement and intelligence agencies to weed out potential terrorists.

The world faces an unprecedented outpouring of more 4 four million refugees from Syria, Kerry and Johnson said, and the United States should work with its allies to share the responsibility and accept Syrian refugees.

“President Hollande of France, while his country reels from terrorist attacks of last week, subsequently reiterated his nation’s commitment to accepting Syrian refugees,” they wrote.

The administration plans to accept about 10,000 Syrian refugees in addition to more than 2,000 who have settled here in recent years.

But the House voted overwhelmingly to block Syrian and Iraqi refugees from the U.S. Senate Democrats say they won’t allow the bill to pass in the upper chamber.

North Carolina’s 10 U.S. House Republicans released a statement backing McCrory in asking the administration to stop sending the refugees until security risks are addressed in light of the Paris attacks.

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