Glenn urges Gov. Snyder to reverse call for Syrian refugees

Midland, Mich. -- Michigan state Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Midland, in the wake of deadly terrorist attacks in Paris by Islamic extremists carrying Syrian passports, Saturday called on Gov. Rick Snyder to reverse his call to relocate Syrian refugees in the state.

"I respectfully urge the governor to act cautiously and conservatively to fulfill what in the sad reality of today's world is the most fundamental responsibility of state government, to protect the public safety of our families and our communities here at home," Glenn said. "We should not rush to offer an open door to the high-risk importation of individuals from a known hotbed of Islamic extremism who security officials say cannot be safely screened to identify and block jihadists masked as 'refugees' who'd love to bring suicide vests and grenades to Ford Field or Fisher Theatre or Great Lakes Crossing."

Glenn disputed Snyder's earlier assurances that Syrian refugees can be safely vetted to block terrorist threats, citing testimony last month by FBI director James Comey, who told the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee that "we can only query against that (data) which we have collected. And so if someone has never made a ripple in the pond in Syria in a way that would get their identity or their interest reflected in our database, we can query our database until the cows come home, but there would be nothing show up because we have no record on it. You can only query what you have collected." (Video: )

Congressman Peter King, R-N.Y., chairman of the U.S. House Counter-Terrorism and Intelligence Subcommittee of the House Homeland Security Committee, repeated that point Friday after terrorist attacks on Paris, saying the U.S. has no databases, no government records, and no employment records against which to vet Syrian refugees. "We don't know who these people are," King told Megyn Kelly of Fox News. (Fast forward to 2:30 of video: )

Glenn also said that any dramatic change in state immigration policy should include the legislature rather than be decided singularly by the governor. "There is wisdom -- and in this case, literally, perhaps a greater degree of safety -- in numbers, in particular the 148 elected representatives and senators who are perhaps more in tune with and sensitive locally to the real concerns of the families and citizens they represent."

He said no change in the state's immigration policy should occur "without a thorough and responsible review in advance of its likely impact on public safety and security, as well as the financial and social burden borne by taxpayers for the likely greater demand on law enforcement, social services, and welfare and other public benefits programs."