STATEMENT: Rep. Ownbey on Syrian Refugees

OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Pat Ownbey (R-Ardmore) issued the following statement today regarding Syrian refugees and Gov. Mary Fallin’s position:

“I have a strong sympathy for the refugees of conflict zones, but I believe that the protection and safety of our citizens must come first. Although I am sure there is an attempt at screening refugees, those processes are as reliable as the information received. I would imagine it would be very difficult to know the background of an individual coming from a conflict zone. The Paris attacks are an indication of just how vulnerable we are to terrorism. I believe the only proper action for our nation at this time is to refuse to accept refugees.

“Governor Mary Fallin has called on the federal government to discontinue placing refugees in Oklahoma and other states. Congress, and not the states, has the ability to refuse refugees. I have received calls from constituents who were upset that the governor was not taking more action. While I understand those concerns, I also want to caution everyone that there are limits to what she can do. We should be pressuring our Congressmen and Senators to end the program.

“I want to emphasize that I do not believe that every refugee is a threat to our security. The problem is that in accepting refugees, some percentage could be threats. If the process can be reformed in a way to give us a reliable way of screening refugees, I would be willing to reconsider my position. As it stands now, I think it is putting my fellow Americans and Oklahomans at risk.”

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