Governor Branstad Monday opened the door to the possibility of settling Syrian refugees in Iowa if a bill before Congress to tighten screening procedures becomes law.
The bill would require that the director of the FBI and other top security officials approve all applicants from Syria and Iraq and assure they pose no threat.
Otherwise, Branstad says letting the refugees in is not safe.
“If instead we're working as a country I'd feel much safer and more willing to do that,” Branstad says.
President Obama is threatening to veto the bill, which passed the U.S. House on a two-thirds majority vote.
“Congress has passed a bill, the House, with strong bipartisan support,” Branstad says. “This administration wants to play politics.”
The bill would require the director of the F.B.I., the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, and the Director of National Intelligence to sign off on every refugee from Syria and Iraq.
“Slamming the door in the face of refugees would betray our deepest values,” President Obama said on Twitter.
Last week the governor ordered state agencies not to prepare for the settlement of refugees from Syria.