Obama Offers Governors Individualized State Reports On Refugees

The White House is proposing to offer governors individualized reports about refugees in their states.

White House chief of staff Denis McDonough says in letters to all 50 governors that upon receiving a governor's request, the State Department would send back a "tailored report" on refugees resettled in the last month and throughout the year so far.

A copy of the letter was obtained by The Associated Press.

McDonough says the State Department would update the information monthly on a password-protected website. He says it would break down refugees by nationality, gender and age range.

The proposed new system comes as many governors have sought to block Obama from placing Syrian refugees in their states following the Paris attacks linked to the Islamic State group.

Two weeks ago, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said he's opposed to allowing additional Syrian refugees into the state until he knows more about the federal government's vetting process for refugees.

He later declined to sign a letter from GOP governors calling on the Obama administration to suspend Syrian refugee resettlement in the U.S.

In a statement in response to the White House letter, Baker's spokeswoman, Lizzy Guyton, said Baker "is pleased that the federal government recognizes the concerns that both governors and a bipartisan group of congressional members have about the process."

She added: "Governor Baker also believes that Massachusetts has a role in welcoming refugees into the Commonwealth, and in the wake of recent, terrible tragedies overseas is working to ensure the public’s safety and security despite the limited role state governments play in the process.”

With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom

earlier coverage:


More from WBUR

Listen Live