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Organizations That Aid Refugees Call On Rauner To Reverse Stance

(CBS) -- A coalition of organizations that help refugees coming into Illinois is calling on Governor Rauner to change his mind - and welcome Syrian refugees.

It was Monday when Governor Rauner's office released a statement, saying Illinois would "temporarily suspend accepting new Syrian refugees."

There have been questions about whether he can legally do that.


The Chicago organization Refugee One says the governor's office has asked for information about future arrivals of Syrian refugees.

Refugee One executive director Melineh Kano says the governor should issue a new statement - a statement of welcome.

"Because a lot of information has been provided now to state officials and to the governor and we hope and believe they should be satisfied with everything they have heard," she said.

Kano says Refugee One is aware of 21 Syrian refugees in the pipeline to come to Illinois, the first set to arrive in December.

The Council on American Islamic Relations wrote a letter to Rauner, saying the refugees are thoroughly vetted.

"It's extremely disheartening and disappointing to see the reactionary climate right now," said CAIR staff attorney Rabya Khan.

Governor Rauner's office has released a statement - basically sticking to his original position - and asking for better briefings from the federal government on refugees coming to Illinois.

The statement says that "a State Department official confirmed to our staff this morning that ISIS has demonstrated an interest in infiltrating refugee populations heading to the West. The official also confirmed that in recent years, some refugees admitted to the United States were later discovered to have terrorist ties."

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