S.C. Governor Requests No Refugees

S.C. Governor Henry McMaster requested the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to stop settling refugees from the six countries on President Donald Trump’s travel ban in South Carolina in the 2018 fiscal year.

McMaster expressed concerns with terrorism and the refugee vetting process. He tweeted, “I have asked the State Department to restrict resettlements from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — countries that sponsor or shelter terrorism. Like President Trump, I believe that we should take all necessary precautions until screening procedures can be made sound.”  

President Trump’s travel ban is an executive order that was intended to stop all refugees from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the United States. The Supreme Court limited the order, ruling that refugees may enter the country if they have family, school or work in the United States.

According to the Post and Courier, 1,278 refugees have been resettled in South Carolina in the past six years.

Brian Evanger is the Refugee Services Coordinator of Lutheran Services Carolinas, one of the two organizations that settle refugees in South Carolina.

Evanger explained that the United States’ refugee vetting process is “already the most extensive vetting process of any country in the world.” The process takes between two to three years and includes background checks, intelligence agency checks, biometric analyses, and interviews.

Evanger stated, “I question why the Governor does not feel this process is already extensive and what else he would consider adding that our Homeland Security officials and experts have not already considered.”

Most of the refugees Lutheran Services Carolinas settles are families. In 2017, LSC resettled 30 refugees in the Charleston area, 19 of them are children.

Evanger added, “all the refugees I have met just want to bring success to themselves and their families.”

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Authored by: Bridget Snydstrup

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