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Thursday, July 9, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Federal screening of refugees strong, Inslee says

From staff reports

Federal screening procedures for Syrian refugees are strong enough to protect the country, Gov. Jay Inslee said Tuesday after a briefing from the Obama administration.

Inslee was part of a conference call between federal immigration officials and governors, some of whom have said they would try to block any Syrian refugees coming into their state in the wake of last Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris. Some members of Congress also are calling for a halt to allowing Syrian refugees into the country.

Inslee said Monday that Washington would welcome them as it has refugees from other countries over the last 40 years.

“Setting aside some hateful and divisive comments from certain corners, governors have a legitimate right and need to assure their citizens are safe,” Inslee said in a prepared statement. The federal process for screening refugees is the highest security for anyone coming to the United States, he said, using biographic and biometric information, background checks and fingerprints, and law enforcement databases.

The State Department gives priority to high-risk, vulnerable groups, including children, the elderly and torture victims, Inslee said. About half of all Syrian refugees are children.

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