breaking news

3 years in prison for Springboro man for sexual assault of 11-year-old

Obama administration responds to Kasich's concerns on refugees


The Obama administration has responded to Gov. John Kasich’s concerns about the state accepting Syrian refugees with a five-page letter assuring Kasich that the security vetting “is extraordinarily thorough and comprehensive.”

In a Nov. 20 letter signed by Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Secretary of State John Kerry obtained by the Dispatch, the two lay out the country’s current extensive system for approving refugees, including interviews by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security and biometric screenings by the Department of Defense.

Officers with the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services undergo five weeks of specialized training, including fraud detection and prevention, security protocols, interviewing techniques and country conditions research.

After those interviews, U.S. Customs and Border Protection receives a manifest of all refugees who are approved to go to the United States, and after that the Department of State and Department of Health and Human Services work to determine where to send the refugee to, transport the refugee and work with the refugee to make him or her self-sufficient.

“We want to emphasize that no one has a right to be resettled in the United States as a refugee,” the letter read. “All refugees, including Syrians, may only be admitted (to) the United States after USCIS receives all the security checks run by the intelligence and law enforcement communities and all issues are resolved.”

The letter said that applicants for refugee admission “are screened more carefully than any other type of traveler to the United States.”

“We have tremendous faith in this system’s ability to detect, investigate and disrupt terrorist plotting in this country, as it has done repeatedly.”

The letter vows to fulfill the United States’ promise to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees, noting that even President Hollande of France vowed to accept Syrian refugees after his country was attacked last week.

The House last week passed a bill that added restrictions to the current refugee screening process for refugees from Syria and Iraq. All Ohio Republican congressmen – as well as Reps. Tim Ryan, D-Niles and Marcy Kaptur, D-Toledo, supported the bill. Reps. Joyce Beatty, D-Jefferson Township and Marcia Fudge, D-Cleveland did not.

Similar letters went to other governors who have expressed concern about accepting Syrian refugees.

Kasich last week acknowledged that while he could not keep Syrian refugees out of Ohio, he would prefer to pause the program in the aftermath of the Paris attacks.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Ohio Politics

Ohio Democratic voters surged for primary, Husted reports
Ohio Democratic voters surged for primary, Husted reports

Democratic Party voters more than doubled Republicans in party-switching and overall voter affiliation growth for Ohio’s 2018 primaries. Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted released voter data Thursday tracking changes for the May primary. RELATED: Trump may factor into Ohio governor’s race In 2016, Republicans had outgained Democrats...
Young Reds pitcher Mahle tough on hitters, tougher on himself
Young Reds pitcher Mahle tough on hitters, tougher on himself

One of the biggest reasons Cincinnati Reds pitcher Tyler Mahle has been doing so well lately might be that he doesn’t think he has been doing all that well. The 23-year-old right-hander offered a harsh assessment of his latest outing, when all he did was hold the Detroit Tigers to two runs through six innings with eight strikeouts to pick up...
Man sentenced after claiming he trafficked fentanyl because his mother was kidnapped
Man sentenced after claiming he trafficked fentanyl because his mother was kidnapped

The man federal prosecutors say trafficked enough fentanyl to kill one million people was sentenced this week to more than five years in prison after claiming he received a videotape showing his mother had been kidnapped. Jose Alonso Rios, 35, was sentenced in Dayton’s U.S. District Court to 63 months in federal prison for distributing more than...
Semi drivers getting stuck at U.S. 127 road closure in Preble County
Semi drivers getting stuck at U.S. 127 road closure in Preble County

People living near a road construction project along U.S. 127 say drivers are ignoring road closed signs. There are dozens of signs along U.S. 127, including one in Eaton that gives a 4-mile warning of the road closure ahead. Shelly Rowland’s house is just behind some railroad tracks, where her family shares a quiet street with a half dozen other...
Wright State trustees fire former provost who was on paid leave for 3 years
Wright State trustees fire former provost who was on paid leave for 3 years

Wright State University’s board of trustees voted to fire its former provost who has been on paid leave in a faculty position for more than three years. Six of the board’s nine members voted this evening to fire Sundaram Narayanan effective June 30. Three board members were absent from the closed-door meeting Wednesday when trustees met...
More Stories