NH's Dem Guv Says No to Syrian Refugees

It’s not just Republicans. Maggie Hassan, the Democrat governor of New Hampshire, said today that the government should stop resettling Syrian refugees in the U.S.

Her spokesman, William Hinkle, told the New Hampshire Union Leader that she currently opposes letting refugees from the war-torn country into the United States.

“Protecting the safety and security of our people is the first responsibility of government,” he told the paper. “And the Governor has always made clear that we must ensure robust refugee screening to protect American citizens, and believes that we must know more of the facts about those who carried out the Paris terrorist attacks and have strong assurances of safety from our intelligence officials before we admit refugees from Syria into the United States.”

Hinkle told The Daily Beast over email that Hassan believes the refugee settlement program should stop immediately.

“The Governor has always made clear that we must ensure robust refugee screening to protect American citizens,” he emailed, “and the Governor believes that the federal government should halt acceptance of refugees from Syria until intelligence and defense officials can assure that the process for vetting all refugees, including those from Syria, is as strong as possible to ensure the safety of the American people.”

Hassan is challenging Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte for her Senate seat. The paper reported that Ayotte raised questions about the screening process and said we should “make sure we are in a position to protect our homeland.” The paper also wrote that Ayotte said the president should “rethink” the decision he made in September to let 10,000 Syrian refugees resettle in the United States.

Ayotte's spokeswoman Liz Johnson told The Daily Beast that the senator thinks the government should stop accepting Syrian refugees for the time being. She said that's because the Feds cannot guarantee with complete certainty that none of the refugees currently being resettled here are affiliated with ISIS.

—Betsy Woodruff