Colorado governor defends stance to allow Syrian refugees into state

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DENVER -- Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is defending his stance to continue to allow Syrian refugees into the state.

“My highest priority has been and always will be the safety and security of Coloradans,” Hickenlooper said Wednesday afternoon.

Politicians across the country are trying to figure out how to balance a refugee program with national security. Colorado is in the minority.

Thirty states are refusing to take in refugees after the attacks in Paris on Friday. Hickenlooper says legally, Colorado cannot join them.

“That is not a power governors have. We cannot deny access to our state,” Hickenlooper said. “It is against the law. I took an oath to obey the law.”

Refugees are a federal matter who are put through a lengthy vetting process. Some worry the current program has too many cracks to slip through. Now, political leaders in Washington cannot agree what to do moving forward.

One criticism is that ISIS will embed terrorists with the refugee population as it enters the United States.

Republican congressional members are trying to push through a bill that would make the review process even tougher for refugees. The White House has responded, saying President Barack Obama will veto their bill if it passes.

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