McAuliffe vetoes bill for report on refugee resettlements

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RICHMOND, Va. (NEWSPLEX) -- A bill requiring an annual report on refugees resettled in Virginia has been vetoed.

Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed House Bill 2002 on Friday, saying the report would "send a message of exclusion to people looking for the chance to rebuild their lives" and poses a danger to them.

The legislation would have required nonprofit resettlement agencies and local affiliates that provide refugee or other immigrant resettlement services, like the International Rescue Committee, to report information regarding those settled in the Commonwealth.

The state Department of Social Services would then collate and submit a report to the governor's office and the General Assembly each year.

The report would include information such as the total number of individuals resettled in Virginia by the agency; the locality where the individual was resettled; the individual's age, gender and nation of origin; and whether the individual was placed through the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program.

"Many individuals and families places in Virginia through the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program are fleeing governmental oppression, persecution and violence," said McAuliffe in a statement. "Many leave their countries because they are targeted by their home country's government, often for helping to further American interests. Disclosing such information in this political climate not only sends a message of discrimination and fear, but it also poses a real danger to many of our newest Virginians."

He also cited the screening process refugees undergo before being allowed to enter the United States and the contributions refugees can bring to the country and Virginia.



 
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