Nikki Haley asks federal authorities not to resettle Syrian refu - FOX Carolina 21

Nikki Haley asks federal authorities not to resettle Syrian refugees in SC

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Governor Nikki Haley is pictured Monday at a press conference. (FOX Carolina 11/16/2015) Governor Nikki Haley is pictured Monday at a press conference. (FOX Carolina 11/16/2015)
COLUMBIA, SC (FOX Carolina) -

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has asked that Syrian refugees not be allowed to resettle in the state.

Haley briefly discussed Syrian refugees during a press conference earlier Monday. 

Haley said that she supports refugees entering the Palmetto state and did not voice opposition or support for Syrians resettling in the state.

Later in the day she expressed concerns about the vetting process of Syrian refugees in a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. 

Haley wrote that after terrorists attacks in Paris left 129 people dead and more than 350 injured, reports had surfaced that at least one attacker entered France by claiming to be a refugee escaping Syria. 

Haley said after reviewing public statements and speaking with intelligence officials, "...there remain gaps in available intelligence for those fleeing Syria. This lack of historical and verifiable intelligence with many Syrian refuges makes it difficult, if not impossible, to thoroughly vet individuals seeking to enter the United States as a refugee. Therefore, until I can be assured that all potential refugees from Syria have no ties to terrorist organizations, I am requesting that the State Department not resettle any Syrian refugees in South Carolina in South Carolina."

Haley had said that no Syrian refugees have entered South Carolina as of Monday, and if they did she would take measures to ensure the safety of South Carolina residents.

The United States will admit 85,000 refugees from the around the world in the 2016 fiscal year, including  at least 10,000 from Syria, according to the U.S. State Department’s website.

Click here for more refugee information from the State Department.

In her letter to Kerry, Haley wrote:

"As governor, it is my first and primary duty to ensure the safety of the the citizens of South Carolina. We are a state that has proudly welcomed refugees from around the world as part of the United States' Refugee Resettlement Program. Refugees are forced to flee their home countries for the most awful reasons, such as religious persecution, and under the most hectic circumstances, such as in the midst of civil war. While I agree that the United States should try to assist individuals in such dire situations, it is precisely because of the situation in Syria that makes their admission into the United States a potential threat.

For that reason, I ask that you honor my request and not resettle any Syrian refugees in South Carolina."

Haley has joined several other governors in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Pennsylvania and Texas who have responded to concerns about Syrian refugees entering their states.  

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