Gov. Scott wants Congress to stop relocation of refugees to state
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Gov. Rick Scott is calling on Congress to block attempts by the Obama administration to relocate 425 Syrian refugees to Florida.
Scott on Monday wrote a letter to congressional leaders that asked them to take "immediate and aggressive action" to prevent the relocation of Syrian refugees without an "extensive evaluation" of the risk the refugees may pose to national security.
The Republican governor cited last week's terrorist attacks in Paris in his request. In his letter, Scott said that one of the attackers posed as a Syrian refugee in order to gain access to France. Scott pointed out in his letter that Florida does not have the authority to stop the relocation of Syrian refugees to the state. But Scott said that he has ordered state officials to turn down any requests to help the refugees.
Scott joins several other U.S. governors who are threatening to halt efforts to allow Syrian refugees into their states. Authorities said a Syrian passport was found near one of the attackers, and the Paris prosecutors' office says fingerprints from the attacker match those of someone who passed through Greece in October.
Millions of Syrians have fled to neighboring Middle Eastern countries and Europe, and President Barack Obama's administration has pledged to accept about 10,000 Syrian refugees in the next 12 months. The U.S. State Department said the refugees would be spread across the country.
Republican presidential candidates have criticized the plan.