Gov. Pete Ricketts doesn’t see a need for legislation to address concerns about the Syrian refugee program.
“Well, I don’t think there necessarily needs to be a bill if the administration would just work with us,” Ricketts tells Kevin Thomas, host of Drive Time Lincoln on Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN.
Ricketts participated in a conference call between the country’s governors and the White House.
He suggests President Barack Obama discuss the issue at the National Governors Association meeting in Washington, D.C. in February.
“That would be a great opportunity to pull together the majority of the governors in the United States together to talk about this issue and what sort of cooperation there could be between the federal government and the states on this issue,” Ricketts says. “So, I think there’s a great opportunity to sit down and just have a dialogue if the Obama Administration would just engage.”
Some groups have criticized the governor, claiming he is acting on fear as well as undermining the state’s reputation of being a friendly and welcoming state.
Ricketts says he must consider the safety of Nebraskans first.
“And, in light of the fact that in Paris it appears that one of the attackers actually came through the refugee system to perpetuate those attacks that killed 130 people, it certainly makes sense for us to take a step back and look at these processes to make sure that we’re doing all we can.”