Groups want Illinois governor to reverse Syrian refugee call

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois groups that help Syrian refugees resettle are calling on Gov. Bruce Rauner to reverse his threat to temporarily stop accepting new Syrian refugees after the attacks in Paris.

Members of groups including RefugeeOne and the Heartland Alliance said Wednesday they believe Rauner doesn’t have the authority to halt the federal resettlement program, and they want a welcoming atmosphere in Illinois. They say Rauner and other GOP governors’ similar decisions were made out of fear. They say refugee screening processes are vigorous.

Since 2010 Illinois has received 169 Syrian refugees.

RefugeeOne executive director Melineh Kano says at least 21 more individuals are expected in December. She says Rauner’s administration has requested information on them.

Also on Wednesday, Chicago’s City Council approved a largely symbolic resolution to accept Syrian refugees.