Columbia, SC (WLTX) - South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley says South Carolina will not accept any Syrian refugees unless she can get assurances from the U.S. government that they have no terrorist ties.
Haley sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry Monday outlining her concerns about the resettlement process in the wake of last Friday's terrorist attacks in Syria. Document: Read Gov. Haley's Letter to John Kerry
"As a governor of a state that plays a small role in administering part of the federal refugee resettlement program, I have concerns with the vetting process of refugees from conflict-zones, specifically Syria," Haley wrote.
"After reviewing recent public statements and personally speaking with intelligence officials, it is my understanding that while our national security agencies are working tirelessly to vet potential refugees, there remain gaps in available intelligence for those fleeing Syria. This lack of historical and verifiable intelligence with many Syrian refugees makes it difficult, if not impossible, to thoroughly vet individuals seeking to enter the United States as a refugee."
Haley said the state has "proudly welcomed" refugees from around the world as part of a federal program in the past, but said her first duty is to ensure the safety of the citizens of South Carolina.
"While I agree that the United States should try to assist individuals in such dire situations, it is precisely because of the situation in Syria that makes their admission into the United States a potential threat to out national security"
Haley had said earlier in the day that as of October 1, no Syrian refugees had come to South Carolina.
DATABASE: Where All Refugees Have Gone State-by-State (Mobile Users Click Here)