Metcalfe: Put Security First

Member Group : News Releases

Representative Daryl Metcalfe
12th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Ty McCauslin
717.772.9979 /
November 17, 2015

Metcalfe, Lawmakers Urge Wolf to Put Commonwealth’s Security First by Refusing Syrian Refugees

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania House State Government Committee Majority Chairman Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) and 100 other state lawmakers sent the following letter to Gov. Tom Wolf today to express their collective public safety concerns regarding the governor’s decision to work with the Obama administration to resettle Syrian refugees in Pennsylvania following the Paris terrorist attacks.

"We were disturbed to learn that you will continue to welcome Syrian refugees into the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This decision places the welfare of individuals who live thousands of miles away above the welfare of the Pennsylvanians you were elected to serve.

"In this announcement, you indicate that ‘Pennsylvania will continue working with the federal government to ensure that all individuals have gone through the proper screening process.’ Your reliance on federal security measures is disconcerting to say the least, given that FBI Director James Comey recently testified before Congress regarding the challenges in tracking potential terrorists within our borders. At an Oct. 8 Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing, Director Comey indicated that there are gaps in the federal government’s ability to screen Syrian refugees. ‘My concern,’ he said, ‘…is there are certain gaps…in the data available to us’ from Syria. Director Comey echoed these warnings at an Oct. 21 House Homeland Security Committee hearing.

"Governors from at least 26 other states have announced that they will not accept Syrian refugees. Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas sent a letter to President Obama yesterday indicating that the State of Texas ‘will not accept any refugees from Syria in the wake of the deadly terrorist attack in Paris.’ As we have heard, at least one of the terrorists implicated in the Paris attacks is suspected of posing as a refugee in order to gain admittance to France. Following the attacks, France has closed its borders and restricted travel. In contrast to these commonsense actions taken in an effort to protect individuals across our country and in Europe from further terrorist threats, you are taking steps to expose Pennsylvanians to additional risks.

"In addition to the unknown dangers to which your policy exposes Pennsylvanians, the acceptance of additional refugees within Pennsylvania’s border will impose costs on the taxpayers of Pennsylvania. According to Judicial Watch, the cost of accepting 10,000 Syrian refugees to the United States will be about $650 million. The citizens of Pennsylvania should not have to bear the consequences of such a flawed national policy and your flawed state policy.

"With great urgency, we ask you to follow the lead of your fellow governors who have taken strong and decisive action to protect their citizens and to reverse your decision to accept Syrian refugees within Pennsylvania borders."