Robert Bentley: ‘there were few questions answered’ during White House Syrian refugee call

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Governor Robert Bentley was among a group of 34 governors who were on a conference call with the White House Tuesday about the Obama Administration’s plans to take in roughly 10,000 refugees from Syria.
White House officials arranged the 90-minute call, led by White House chief of staff Denis McDonough, after dozens of state leaders rejected the program in the wake the Paris terrorist attacks.
Bentley is one of 28 of the nation’s governors, which accounts for more than half, that has since moved to block Syrian refugees from resettling in their states.

“While the White House attempted to share information with Governors who have refused the relocation of Syrian refugees out of concern for their state’s security, there were few questions answered by the Obama Administration,” explained Bentley.

“In a letter to the President yesterday, I expressed my frustration over the lack of information provided to states on how Syrian refugees are vetted. Other Governors shared those same concerns on the call with the White House. Governors expressed frustration over the failure to communicate with states. Federal officials admitted the refugee process is flawed and outdated and may need to be revised given the terrorists attacks in Paris.”

Officials from the White House, the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, the National Counterterrorism Center, and the Department of State arranged the call to provide information about their refugee-screening measures and policies, and address concerns raised by governors in the wake of the terror attacks on Paris.

“Despite Tuesday’s call, I still have strong concerns on the vetting process of Syrian refugees,” Bentley continued. “I am joining fellow Governors this week to discuss this important issue at the Republican Governors Association Annual Conference. I will continue to press the Obama Administration for answers and will keep the safety and security of Alabamians a top priority.”
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