Mike Pence wants Hoosiers to welcome Syrian refugee family despite his objections

DALLAS (AP) — The latest on the arrival of Syrian refugees in Texas and Indiana (all times CST):

10:30 a.m.

An aide says Indiana Gov. Mike Pence wants residents of the state to welcome a Syrian refugee family that was settled there, despite his objections.

Pence spokesman Matt Lloyd said Tuesday that the Republican governor is confident that Indiana residents will be welcoming to the couple and their two young children, who arrived Monday night.

Pence had asked Indianapolis Archbishop Joseph Tobin last week to not resettle the family in Indiana amid his concerns about the screening of refugees from that war-torn part of the world.

Tobin says he considered Pence’s request but decided to help the family settle in Indiana because such assistance is an “essential part” of the Catholic church’s identity.

Thought not specifically mentioning Donald Trump, Pence said on Twitter Tuesday that calls from the GOP presidential candidate to stop all Muslims from entering the U.S. were “offensive.”

9:15 a.m.

A spokesman for Indiana Gov. Mike Pence says the governor respectfully disagrees with the decision of Catholic Church officials to resettle a Syrian refugee family in the state.

Pence’s spokesman, Matt Lloyd, said Tuesday that the Republican governor’s top priority is the safety of the people of Indiana and that his order blocking state agencies from assisting Syrian refugees will remain in place. Pence issued the order three days after the deadly Paris attacks last month.

Pence asked Indianapolis Archbishop Joseph Tobin last week to not resettle the family in Indiana. Tobin says the couple and their two small children arrived in Indianapolis Monday night and helping them is an “essential part” of the church’s identity.

Lloyd says the governor still believes the screening of Syrian refugees must be improved before Indiana agencies will assist with resettlements.

8:35 a.m.

Six Syrian refugees have settled in their Dallas home over the initial objections of Texas officials who wanted to stop them.

International Rescue Committee spokeswoman Lucy Carrigan said Tuesday that the family arrived Monday afternoon. She described the family as relieved and eager to start a new life in the United States.

Carrigan declined to identify where the family was living due to safety concerns.

The family’s arrival was closely watched because it comes after Texas officials said they wanted to ban new Syrian refugees following the deadly Nov. 13 Paris attacks.

When the IRC indicated it would continue with resettling the family and other Syrians in Texas, the state went to court. The state has since withdrawn its request for an immediate ban on Syrian arrivals.

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