Democratic State Lawmakers Respond to GOP on Syrian Refugees

Group of 45 Dems say Republicans' letter to governor motivated by 'divisive politics'

By Tristan Scott

BUTTE — A group of Democratic state legislators has issued a response to their Republican colleagues who recently urged Gov. Steve Bullock to prevent Syrian refugees from resettling in Montana.

The 45 Democrats sent a letter dated Nov. 27, saying that the Republicans’ letter to Bullock seemed to be solely motivated by “divisive politics.” The Democrats also argued that Bullock does not have the authority to determine who is granted refugee status.

More than 30 governors have vowed to stop efforts to resettle Syrian refugees in their states following the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris. But that decision is under the authority of the federal government.

Montana Republicans have called for federal refugee admission guidelines and policies to be strengthened, while some state Democrats say refugees already undergo strict screening processes.

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