Our government exists to protect its citizens from threats to their rights, threats both foreign and domestic. In pursuit of this priority, President Trump issued an executive order to strengthen the security of America’s refugee resettlement process in the face of terrorist threats. Although the judiciary has thwarted President Trump’s authority to defend American soil, the President has the right goal in mind: keeping Americans safe.
Terrorist organizations have long threatened to use the international refugee resettlement process to infiltrate Western nations. Several deadly terrorist attacks have been perpetrated by refugees, both in Europe and here at home. However, we can work toward such atrocities being relegated to the past by placing proper restrictions on the system.
Last year, I issued an executive order barring state resources from being used to relocate refugees to Kansas from countries compromised by terrorism. When the Obama administration failed to address the need for adequate screening processes in the refugee resettlement process, I pulled the State of Kansas out of the federal refugee resettlement program entirely. The previous administration could not guarantee that refugees coming from terrorist hotbeds would not pose a security threat to American citizens. As a result, Kansas withdrew from the flawed program.
President Trump’s executive order pushes the pause button on the federal refugee program in order to give our officials time to ensure that the system provides for adequate screening processes. Given that lack of adequate screening drove Kansas’ withdrawal from the federal refugee program, President Trump’s implementation of stronger screening standards is a positive sign.
The American dream is central to our nation’s identity. We embrace those fleeing oppression, who are looking for a nation that will give them the hope and opportunity to start a new life in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave. I have always been a champion of the cause of the refugee, and we will continue to accept refugees into our great nation. We want to help those who are desperate and in need, but we have to ensure the security of our own citizens while doing so. As Governor of the State of Kansas, the safety and security of our citizens is my highest priority. President Trump is similarly prioritizing the safety of the American people.
Governor Sam Brownback