Watch CBS News

Rauner Wants More Info From White House On Syrian Refugees

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Speaking publicly for the first time about his announcement Illinois would temporarily stop accepting Syrian refugees in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks, Gov. Bruce Rauner on Tuesday declined to elaborate on how the state would block Syrian migrants from resettling here.

Rauner would not directly answer questions about how he could prevent Syrian refugees from coming to Illinois, but he said his advisers have been researching possible legal options.

"The federal government is not communicating with us and the states about who is being admitted in the refugee program, what their backgrounds are, where they're being sent. That doesn't allow us to be effective partners in trying to prevent attacks against the American people," he said.

The governor said he's been in talks with the White House and other governors about the issue. He said Illinois has a long history of welcoming refugees, and it should continue to do so.


Rauner is one of more than two dozen U.S. governors who have said their states will temporarily halt resettlement of Syrian refugees until the federal government addresses their concerns about the screening process.

Refugee advocates have said states do not have the authority to turn away refugees, as resettlement to the U.S. is a federal matter.

Rauner said the Obama administration and all 50 states should work together to come up with a comprehensive communication plan on refugees, so the Islamic State cannot slip terrorists into the U.S. among migrants fleeing war-torn Syria.

"The Obama administration's senior officials have acknowledged that they have gaps. They have holes in their vetting process," he said.

The governor said there has been a lot of overblown rhetoric regarding the issue of Syrian refugees, and emotions should not be allowed to rule decisions.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.