- Associated Press - Monday, November 23, 2015

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - An Idaho lawmaker is calling for a special session of the state Legislature to address refugee resettlement, declaring that Muslim refugees constitute “an invasion of our country.”

Rep. Heather Scott didn’t say why she wanted the state to address refugee resettlement, which is a federal program. But her request comes as some are expressing concern about Syrian refugees in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks, reported the Spokesman-Review (https://bit.ly/1SUj0tq ).

A Syrian passport was found near one of the suicide bombers in Paris, but its authenticity has not yet been determined. The attackers who have been identified so far are all European citizens.

Scott called for the session in a legislative newsletter, saying lawmakers should “draft emergency legislation to address the refugee crisis.”

But refugees already undergo a lengthy, thorough screening process, said Jan Reeves, director of the Idaho Office of Refugees. He said they undergo more vetting and security screenings than other groups who enter the U.S., including visitors, students, workers and immigrants.

“It’s disturbing that this kind of opinion exists in our Legislature,” Reeves said after reading through Scott’s newsletter. “We hope that with good, accurate information and data that we can present a different perspective on refugees in our communities than what I’m seeing in this particular posting.”

Gov. Butch Otter’s office has been receiving lots of calls about Syrian refugees since the Paris attacks, said spokesman Jon Hanian. But he wasn’t aware of anyone calling to back a special legislative session.

Otter sent a letter to President Barack Obama last week calling for cutting off all resettlement of refugees in the U.S. until security procedures are reviewed.

Scott didn’t return calls asking for comment.


Information from: The Spokesman-Review, https://www.spokesman.com

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