Lawmakers Urge Hickenlooper to Pause Refugee Program

Denver -- Nearly 40 Colorado lawmakers from both chambers of the legislature have written Gov. John Hickenlooper, asking him to support suspension of Syrian refugee placements in the state. The lawmakers ask that Hickenlooper hold off on new refugee resettlement “until Congress has, by joint resolution, affirmed the adequacy of the vetting process for all refugees.”

The letter is signed by 13 senators and 24 representatives, all of them Republicans.

“As representatives for the citizens of Colorado, we strongly believe that our single most important job is ensuring the safety of our friends, families, and neighbors,” reads the letter. “Therefore, given the recent tragic events in Paris, we call on you to inform the federal government that you are joining hands with twenty-nine other Governors from both parties to call for a suspension of Syrian refugee resettlement until Congress has, by joint resolution, affirmed the adequacy of the vetting process for all refugees. To protect our citizens, we must identify and reject terrorists hiding their true identifies, motives and plans.”

Follow this link to read the complete letter.

The issue burst into the headlines Monday after the governor made statements to the press indicating his support for relocating Syrian refugees in the state. At last count 31 state governors including 10 of the 18 governors of the Western Governors Conference, are asking for a halt to Syrian refugee resettlement.

State Sen. Laura Woods, who led the effort to send a letter to the Governor, said she was called to action by the groundswell of opposition from within her district after the controversy erupted on Monday.

“We feel it is both right and sensible to question the ‘vetting process’ that the Governor seems to trust much more than Colorado’s citizens do. Most Coloradans want a halt or suspension of Syrian refugee arrivals until questions are answered.  It is far better to be safe than sorry. What’s the rush? Why is our governor joining hands with Obama in vehemently opposing a thorough congressional review of the vetting process?”

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