Ohio lawmakers vote to keep Syrian refugees out of Ohio

Lawmakers, supporting Gov. John Kasich, are asking President Obama to stop plan to take in refugees.

By Anthony Shoemaker

Staff Writer

The Ohio House voted 63-24 Tuesday to urge President Barack Obama to halt plans to bring Syrian refugees into the United States following last weeks attacks in Paris.

“It is possible that members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or another radical extremist terrorist organization, could infiltrate the State of Ohio and the United States of America by claiming Syrian refugee status,” the resolution reads.

The resolution was introduced by State Rep. Tim Derickson, R-Hanover Twp. The Butler County Republican is currently running for Congress to replace former House Speaker John Boehner in the 8th District.

“We must act now to prevent those wishing to commit acts of terror from entering our soil under the guise of refugee protection,” Derickson said.

During the debate, state Rep. Niraj Antani, R-Miami Twp., said “The Islamic State wants to get rid of us.”

He said the resolution is “practical.”

House Minority Leader Fred Strahorn said he was upset that he didn’t know the issue was coming forward for a vote.

“You want to tell me that you’re scared of some old lady or some kid from Syria coming here for help,” Strahorn, D-Dayton, said. “We don’t change our principles just because we’re scared.”

The vote comes one day after Ohio Gov. John Kasich said the state did not want to take in Syrian refugees because there was no way to background check them.

On Tuesday during an address to the National Press Club, Kasich admitted that governors don’t have authority to keep the refugees out.

“We, the members of the 131st General Assembly of the State of Ohio urge the President of the United States to prevent the resettlement of Syrian refugees into the State of Ohio as well as the United States of America,” the resolution states.

The resolution would be sent to President Obama, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Senate officials, the Department of Homeland Security and Ohio members of congress and others.

The Ohio Senate has not yet taken up the issue.

Full text of resolution

To urge the President of the United States to halt the settlement of Syrian refugees in Ohio and the United States.

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF OHIO (THE SENATE CONCURRING):

WHEREAS, Since 2011, conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic has displaced roughly four million Syrian nationals, many of whom have fled to other Arab nations and to Europe; and

WHEREAS, The United States of America has recently intensified the resettlement of Syrian national refugees due to increased conflict perpetuated by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria; and

WHEREAS, It is possible that members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or another radical extremist terrorist organization, could infiltrate the State of Ohio and the United States of America by claiming Syrian refugee status; and

WHEREAS, It is not possible to adequately investigate the legitimacy of each claim of refugee status to prevent members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria from entering the United States; and

WHEREAS, Security concerns continue to mount regarding the resettlement of Syrian nationals to the State of Ohio and the United States of America; now therefore be it

RESOLVED, That we, the members of the 131st General Assembly of the State of Ohio urge the President of the United States to prevent the resettlement of Syrian refugees into the State of Ohio as well as the United States of America; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Clerk of the House of Representatives is hereby directed to transmit duly authenticated copies of this resolution to the President of the United States, to the United States Secretary of Homeland Security, to the Director of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, to the Speaker and Clerk of the United States House of Representatives, to the President Pro Tempore and the Secretary of the United States Senate, to the members of the Ohio Congressional delegation, and to the news media of Ohio.

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