Rauner Rejects White House Compromise On Syrian Refugees

Dec 1, 2015

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

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is rebuffing a bid by the White House to assuage concerns over Syrian refugees.

Rauner's one of some 30 governors nationwide who've said no to taking in people fleeing war-ravaged Syria. Rauner, a Republican, cited security concerns following the terror attacks in Paris. "What matters is a coordinated, cooperative, highly communicative effort at a national scale to protect the people of America against terrorists," he said in November.

But in an email, Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly indicated the letter from President Barack Obama's administration doesn't go far enough. Kelly says it offers to give "limited information" on refugees after they've settled in Illinois. She says that's "puzzling." Rauner wants it before they're here.

The White House has characterized its plan as one that'd protect refugees' privacy, while also responding to governors' concerns. The State Department would reportedly give governors who ask for it basic information, like the age and gender, of refugees who'd come to their state the month prior.