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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spin Control

War of words over Syrian refugees

OLYMPIA – A war of words between state officials over whether Washington should accept Syrian refugees developed in the state Capitol Friday, even though the decision is largely out of their hands.

Gov. Jay Inslee told legislators they should bone up on the extensive security checks refugees must go through, which he said are nothing like those that allegedly allowed one of the Paris terrorists to slip into Europe through Greece. State Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, suggested Inslee should be impeached.

Inslee responded to a group of state senators who wrote him earlier in the week to “pause” and take time assure the people the refugees would be screened “to ensure that the bloodshed of Paris will not happen in the concert halls and cafes of our cities and towns.” The governor laid out the multistep screening process that American refugees must pass.

“I have never made any such statements,” he wrote. “Governors play no role in the process.”

Supporters and opponents of accepting refugees staged competing demonstations, with speeches and signs outside the Capitol Building. The Seattle Times reported Shea told opponents of the resettlement that lawmakers next session should impeach Inslee if the governor didn’t change his stance on refugees.

Jim Camden
Jim Camden joined The Spokesman-Review in 1981 and retired in 2021. He is currently the political and state government correspondent covering Washington state.

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