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Archdiocese Settles Syrian Refugees In Indy

refugees

The Archdiocese of Indianapolis says it resettled a family from Syria despite Gov. Mike Pence's orders to stop accepting Syrian refugees.



The Archdiocese says the family arrived in Indianapolis Monday night. The couple and their two children have been planning the move for more than two years.



Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin met with Pence last week to discuss the family's arrival. Pence expressed concerns and repeated his request that the family be deferred to another state until the federal government takes extra steps to ensure refugees and immigrants are properly screened when entering the U.S.



Tobin released a statement Tuesday saying welcoming families who are fleeing violence in other regions is part of their Catholic identity:





Three years ago, this family fled the violence of terrorists in their homeland of Syria. After two years of extensive security checks and personal interviews, the United States government approved them to enter our country. The Archdiocese of Indianapolis was asked to help resettle this family through its regular participation in a program that is a public-private partnership between the federal government and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and its Migration and Refugee Services.





Pence spokesperson Matt Lloyd said in a statement the governor disagrees with the archdiocese's decision to help the family relocate to Indiana:





Prior to the terrorist attacks in Paris, which involved a Syrian refugee as one of the attackers, the Obama Administration's own FBI Director said there are 'gaps' in the Syrian refugee resettlement program. Yesterday, the Chairman of the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee stated that 'The U.S. government has information to indicate that individuals tied to terrorist groups in Syria have already attempted to gain access to our country through the U.S. refugee program.' Despite these facts the Administration continues to ignore calls from governors of both parties, as well as a bipartisan majority in the U.S. House, to pause and strengthen the program. The safety and security of the people of Indiana is Governor Pence's top priority. The State of Indiana will continue to suspend its participation in the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Indiana until the federal government takes action to address the concerns raised about this program.





A family of Syrian refugees that was scheduled to arrive in Indiana last month was diverted to Connecticut in the wake of the governor's decision. Exodus Refugee Immigration and the Archdiocese of Indianapolis have since said they will continue to help refugees relocate to Indiana despite the governor's opposition.



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