Washington is keeping the welcome mat out for Syrian refugees, Gov. Jay Inslee said Monday.
“At a time when millions of Syrian families are attempting to flee ISIS and seek refuge in safer parts of the world, including the United States, there are some who say it’s time to close our doors to people whose lives are in peril,” Inslee said in a prepared statement.
“Washington will continue to be a state that welcomes those seeking refuge from persecution, regardless of where they come from or the religion they practice.”
And Inslee criticized governors who’ve announced their opposition to accepting refugees. He didn’t name names but the leaders of Michigan and Alabama are among those announcing they want to keep refugees from settling in their states.
“It’s important to note that governors do not decide whether refugees come to their states. Those decisions are made by the federal government, and the U.S. State Department has a robust system in place to evaluate and place families who seek refugee status,” Inslee said.
“That makes these anti-refugee comments by governors even more troublesome and of little value except to divide people and foment intolerance.”
Meanwhile, last week’s deadly attacks are not deterring Inslee’s plans to attend a United Nations summit on climate change in Paris next month.
Inslee intends to fly out Dec. 4 and attend four days of events before returning, according to spokeswoman Jaime Smith.
The governor’s travel expenses including airfare and hotel will be picked up by the Georgetown Climate Center, a nonpartisan group that works on policies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help communities adapt to climate change.
The international conference, which is scheduled to run Nov. 30 to Dec. 11, is attracting President Barack Obama and other world leaders who will consider adopting a plan for dealing with global warming.
The first-term Democratic governor will be part of the official U.S. State Department delegation.