Heartland lawmakers weigh-in on Syrian refugees - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Heartland lawmakers weigh-in on Syrian refugees

Clockwise: MO Gov. Jay Nixon, MO Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, IL Gov. Bruce Rauner and KY Gov-Elect Matt Bevin. Clockwise: MO Gov. Jay Nixon, MO Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, IL Gov. Bruce Rauner and KY Gov-Elect Matt Bevin.

(KFVS/AP) - Some Heartland lawmakers are weighing-in on accepting or not accepting Syrian refugees.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon issued the following statement on Monday on Syrian refugees:

“The safety of Missourians is my highest priority, and the terrorists who were involved in planning and perpetrating the attacks in Paris must be caught and brought to justice,” Gov. Nixon said. “The screening process for refugees is the responsibility of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and I call on our federal partners to implement the strongest possible safeguards to protect our state and nation.”

Missouri Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder delivered a letter to Governor Jay Nixon urging him to refuse to accept any Syrian refugees in Missouri until the federal government can ensure a proper vetting procedure is in place.

Kinder said in the letter that the state must be certain terrorists aren't "coming to Missouri masquerading as refugees."

"I am certain you share my concern that we must ensure, above all other considerations, the safety and security of all Missourians," he wrote. "I respectfully ask that you direct all the appropriate state agencies to suspend the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Missouri until those assurances are satisfied."

You can click here to read the PDF version of Kinder's letter.

Kentucky Governor-Elect Matt Begin issued the following statement on the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Kentucky:

"The recent terrorist attacks in Paris serve as a warning to the entire civilized world that we must remain vigilant. It is imperative that we do everything in our power to prevent any similar attack by evildoers from taking place here in America.

My primary responsibility as Governor of Kentucky will be to protect the citizens of the Commonwealth. This is why I am joining with other governors across the country in opposing the resettlement of Syrian nationals until we can better determine the full extent of any risks to our citizens."

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner said on Monday the state of Illinois will temporarily stop accepting new Syrian refugees in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Paris.

He said that Illinois will consider all of its legal options pending a review of U.S. Department and Homeland Security's acceptance and security processes. Rauner is one of several U.S. governors who say they will stop allowing Syrian refugees into their states after the Friday night attacks in Paris left at least 129 people dead.

Rauner said Illinois has to balance its tradition of welcoming refugees while "ensuring the safety and security of our citizens."

You can click here for a slideshow of govenors saying "no" to Syrian refugees.

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Copyright 2015 KFVS. All rights reserved. The Associated Press also contributed to this story.

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