By NPR Staff
The resettling of Syrian refugees in the U.S. has become a political and religious flashpoint. On Friday, for instance, Texas dropped its request for a federal court to immediately block Syrian refugees from entering the state. A Syrian family, including two young children, is now expected to arrive in Dallas on Monday.
By contrast, in Indiana, Gov. Mike Pence asked the Catholic Archdiocese in Indianapolis to turn down a family of Syrian refugees expecting to settle in that state later this month. At a meeting Wednesday with Indianapolis Archbishop Joseph Tobin, Pence expressed security concerns over the resettlement.
“They had a frank exchange of views,” Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski tells NPR’s Lynn Neary. Wenski serves on the migration committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Wenski explains: “I think the governor was saying, ‘Don’t take these people,’ and the archbishop was saying, ‘Think it over, governor, and don’t stand in the way of a humanitarian and Christian and American solution to the plight of this family.’ ”
Wenski believes that the Indianapolis archdiocese will proceed with its plans to bring the Syrian family into the state.
“I don’t believe the governor has the legal authority to prevent that from happening at this point. But I think the archdiocese of Indianapolis would be happier to have the governor’s OK or approval,” Wenski says.
“Because basically the church has no interest in introducing a family that has already been traumatized, by being uprooted in their own homeland, into a situation where they would find hostility or danger.”
The office of Gov. Pence tells NPR it has not received word on a final decision from Catholic Charities Indianapolis.
Click here to read more or listen to the broadcast Heart of Refugee Debate