MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota’s top Republican lawmaker Thursday said Democratic Governor Mark Dayton should stop accepting Syrian refugees for resettlement in the state.
House GOP Speaker Kurt Daudt says he wants assurances that the federal government has sufficiently investigated the backgrounds of Syrian refugees to make sure they do not have connections to terrorism. Earlier this week, he sent a letter to Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton asking him to halt resettlements.
“This is a new reality that we live in,” Daudt said. “And we think just a pause to analyze those procedures, and just ensure to all Minnesotans and Americans that this is working and that we are weeding out any potential terrorists.”
Across the country, 30 Republican governors and 1 Democratic governor have closed their borders to Syrian refugees, even though it’s not clear governors have that power.
Earlier this week, Dayton called those actions “ludicrous.”
“To think that every Syrian refugee coming into the United States brings a threat of terrorism is just not, to me, a rational assumption,” he said.
Republican leaders say they will investigate how to temporarily stop any refugees from entering the state, including a look at funding provided for Minnesota resettlement programs.
The Minnesota Office of Resettlement reports the state accepted nine Syrian refugees since 1979, including seven in 2015 from one family.