Rauner Denounces Trump Ban On Muslims, Extends Illinois' Refugee Ban To Cover Iraqis

Dec 8, 2015

Credit Voice of America News: Henry Ridgwell from the Turkish border by Aleppo

Illinois Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, is denouncing recent anti-Muslim statements from his party's front-runner for president, but he's sticking to his position on Syrian refugees, and he's even taking it a step further.

Rauner described Donald Trump's call for a ban on Muslims entering the U.S. as "an extreme action."

"What he's proposing is just fundamentally counter to American values," Rauner said Tuesday in response to reporters' questions. "I strongly, strongly disagree with candidate Trump."

Rauner then took pains to distinguish Trump's plan from his policy to block Syrian refugees from moving to Illinois. "What I have said is that we should have a cooperative communication to battle terrorism between the federal government and the states."

Rauner says President Barack Obama's administration has not been forthcoming enough about refugees' identities.

Critics say governors don't have the legal authority to block refugees, and it's discrimination to block out any one group. But this time, Rauner didn't just single out Syrians.

"I have asked the Obama administration to take a pause - it's not a long-term action but a pause - in our acceptance, our welcoming, of refugees from Syria and Iraq."

In written statements outlining his refugee policy, Rauner has never included Iraqis.