GOP lawmakers to Wolf: Confirm refugees have no extremist ties

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A number of Republican state lawmakers want to know what Governor Tom Wolf has done to ensure Syrian refugees placed in Pennsylvania have no ties to extremist groups or terrorist activities.

The legislators said their offices have been busy with calls from constituents since Wolf, a Democrat, announced Monday that his administration will continue working with the federal government to resettle Syrian refugees in Pennsylvania following the Paris terror attacks.

State Rep. Mindy Fee (R-Lancaster) said her constituents sympathize with people being dislocated from their homes because of the ongoing violence in Syria, but they want to know the country is not being manipulated by terrorists.

Fee and other Republicans from Lancaster County wrote to Wolf about his policy. State Rep. Steve Mentzer (R-Lancaster) said his constituents want assurances that the screening process works.

“I cannot recall a recent issue which has sparked more concern,” state Rep. Keith Greiner (R-Lancaster) said in a statement. “People are genuinely worried and I certainly understand why.  One of the government’s top priorities is to keep people safe, and we cannot fail in that effort.”

Several Republicans governors say they’re opposing efforts to relocate Syrian refugees in their states or they’re demanding to know more about the federal government’s security and screening procedures.

One of the terrorists identified in the Paris attacks is suspected of entering France with a Syrian passport, possibly among the refugees seeking haven in Europe.

Legal experts say the Refugee Act of 1980 prevents governors from legally blocking refugees from settling in their states.

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