Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Florida wants to decline 4,460 refugees from settling in state

Posted By on Wed, Jan 20, 2016 at 1:24 PM

Despite the federal government's request to increase the number of refugees going to Florida, state officials have decided to follow the lead of Gov. Rick Scott and are refusing to support the settlement of 4,460 refugees this year.

The Tampa Bay Times reports Patti Grogan, the director of refugee services for the Department of Children and Families, wrote in an email to the U.S. Department of State that her department "will not support the requests we have received to an already overburdened system." 

"Several organizations requested that our agency support the relocation of 425 possible Syrian refugees to Florida," Grogan writes. "Following the terrorist attacks by ISIS in Paris, and the news that at least one of the terror attack suspects gained access to France by posing as a Syrian refugee, Governor Scott participated in a conference call with the White House where a) the White House could not explain how America’s process for vetting Syrian refugees was any better than the French process for vetting Syrian refugees and b) the White House stated they would not provide Florida law enforcement with background information on Syrian refugees the White House intended to relocate to Florida." 

Grogan says the state will not accept the refugees until Florida's concerns about America's vetting process are alleviated, the federal government discloses each refugees background information to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the FDLE gets adequate time to vet each refugee.   

According to the Times, neither Scott nor a Florida state agency can legally refuse refugees. Out of the 2,709 refugees the state accepted in 2015, only 104 were Syrian refugees. 

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