Joining the governors of Louisiana, Texas, Michigan (and probably in a few hours, the governors of other conservative states), Pence announced around noon that Indiana would stop resettling any Syrian refugees in the Hoosier state.
In wake of Paris attacks, I'm directing all state agencies to suspend the resettlement of addl Syrian refugees in IN https://t.co/Gtg5ccjMsU— Governor Mike Pence (@GovPenceIN) November 16, 2015
(1/2) Indiana has a long tradition of opening our arms and homes to refugees from around the world...— Governor Mike Pence (@GovPenceIN) November 16, 2015
(2/2) ...but, as governor, my first responsibility is to ensure the safety and security of all Hoosiers.— Governor Mike Pence (@GovPenceIN) November 16, 2015
Unless and until Indiana receives assurances that proper security measures are in place, this policy will remain in full force and effect— Governor Mike Pence (@GovPenceIN) November 16, 2015
We'd like to remind you of this widely circled tweet from this weekend:
Continuing information suggests that several of the attackers behind the Paris attacks were European citizens. It is suggested one or more entered Europe as part of a migration of refugees from Syria.
To people blaming refugees for attacks in Paris tonight. Do you not realise these are the people the refugees are trying to run away from..?— Dan Holloway (@RFCdan) November 13, 2015
Stories of towns looking to actively settled Syrian refugees were widely circulated in the last few months. Here's a story about a small Scottish island that prepared to settle 15 families. In September, 11,000 Icelanders volunteered to host Syrian families in their homes after the Icelandic government announced they would accept 50 Syrian refugees. After the strong response from citizens suggesting that was not enough, Iceland's Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson appointed a committee of ministers to investigate the possibility of allowing more refugees into the country.
The UN said in September that more than 4 million Syrians have fled the conflict in their home country and a further 7.6 million are displaced inside Syria.
Click here for more coverage of Catholic Charities and Exodus Refugee International, two organizations that work with resettled refugees in Indianapolis. NUVO did an extensive cover story on Burmese refugees now living in Indianapolis in 2013.
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Every year, thousands of people fleeing violence, insecurity, and persecution at home attempt a treacherous journey via north Africa and across the Mediterranean to reach Europe. And every year, countless lives are lost on these journeys.
In 2014 alone, more than 3,400 people are thought to have died during the crossing; already in 2015, more than 1,500 people have been left to drown.
"A mass grave is being created in the Mediterranean Sea," says Loris De Filippi, president of Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) Italy.
"Faced with thousands of desperate people fleeing wars and crises, Europe has closed its borders, forcing people in search of protection to risk their lives and die at sea. There is no more time to think, these lives must be saved now."
Here is a sampling of some of our previous coverage of Syria, including an op-ed by David Carlson about softening our hearts towards the Syrian conflict, and a piece by human rights journalist Kristin Wright about her trip to the Syrian border.