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Tuesday, July 05, 2022

Gov. Scott asks congress to keep Syrian refugees out of Florida

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is attempting to stop the relocation of Syrian refugees to Florida, citing security concerns.

Scott sent a letter to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Florida congressional members asking Congress to prevent the Obama administration from using federal tax dollars to fund the relocation of 425 possible Syrian refugees to Florida and other states.

In his letter, Scott wrote "several organizations" have requested Florida’s Department of Children and Families to support Syrian refugees, given that it receives federal funding to house refugees.

"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, our state agency will not support the requests we have received," Scott wrote, adding that Florida doesn’t have the authority to stop the federal government’s funding of the relocation.

He asked Congress "to take immediate and aggressive action" to prevent the relocation of the Syrian refugees "to Florida, or anywhere in the United States, without an extensive evaluation of the risk these individuals may pose to our national security."

Scott is one of several U.S. governors attempting to block the relocation of Syrian refugees into their states, the Associated Press reported.

Jesse Fallen, president of UF College Democrats, said he does not support Scott’s decision.

"These people were born into a different situation than us, and it’s a really tragic situation," he said, referring to the refugees, "and we really need to provide humanitarian aid."

Contact Hunter Williamson at hwilliamson@alligator.org and follow him on Twitter @hunterewilliam

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