Rauner closes doors to Syrian refugees, citing Paris attacks
In the wake of terrorist attacks in Paris, Gov. Bruce Rauner said on Monday that Illinois will temporarily prevent Syrian refugees from entering the state.
"Our nation and our state have a shared history of providing safe haven for those displaced by conflict, but the news surrounding the Paris terror attacks reminds us of the all-too-real security threats facing America," Rauner said. "We must find a way to balance our tradition as a state welcoming of refugees while ensuring the safety and security of our citizens. Therefore, the state of Illinois will temporarily suspend accepting new Syrian refugees and consider all of our legal options pending a full review of our country’s acceptance and security processes by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security."
A Syrian passport found near the body of one of the suicide bombers involved in the attacks has triggered widespread speculation about the link between the Islamic State and Syrian refugees who have been flooding into Europe for months in an effort to escape the civil war in their country.
Several countries, including some U.S. states, had pledged to help resettle tens of thousands of the refugees, but have since suspended those commitments amid security concerns.
Rauner's announcement made Illinois one of more than 20 states that have decided to withhold acceptance of Syrian refugees until further investigation can be completed.