Governor Gina Raimondo says she is waiting for direction from the Obama administration, before making any decisions about sheltering Syrian refugees. Raimondo was part of a White House call with 34 other governors on Tuesday about the question of taking in refugees.
Across the country, 27 governors have threatened to close their borders to Syrian refugees, following the terrorist attacks in Paris.
Raimondo has yet to take a strong position on the issue, since the violence in France.
“Rhode Island has not been called upon to take any refugees in,” said Raimondo. “I will take my lead from the federal government, this is a federal issue. And if at some future point in time, we’re asked to do our part, then I’m going to take a look at that.”
At this point, Raimondo said her focus remains the state's current residents.
“My job as Governor of Rhode Island is to keep the people of Rhode Island safe, and we’re doing that and we’re going to do that,” said Raimondo. “I’ve been in touch with the state police; we have a little bit more police presence now.”
At least two state lawmakers have called for Raimondo to reject Syrian refugees. But other elected officials, including Central Falls Mayor James Diossa, have said the U.S. should do all it can to help those people fleeing violence in Syria.
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