Herbert now only Republican gov. who has not refused Syrian refugees

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Gov. Gary Herbert is now the only Republican governor that has not refused Syrian refugees from his state.

As of Tuesday afternoon, South Dakota and Utah were the outliers. Now Utah stands alone. All other Republican governors in the U.S. have told President Barack Obama they do not want Syrian refugees resettled in their states.

For Herbert, it's a matter of practicality as much as principle.

"Governors really don't have the ability to stop refugees from coming into their states, in spite the rhetoric we hear out there," Herbert said.

Herbert emphasizes that he wants his public safety staff to get better information from the Obama administration before they send any refugees to Utah.

"Let's get on the prevention side and make sure that the federal government, which has the number one responsibility, is doing all they can to prevent terrorists from coming into our country," Herbert told Fox 13 News Tuesday.

Herbert has support from the Democratic mayor of Salt Lake County, Ben McAdams.

"I support Governor Herbert's approach, which is we don't discriminate against people based on their national origin, but we do want to make sure that people are coming here really to pursue the American dream," McAdams said.

Members of Utah's congressional delegation, including Congressmen Jason Chaffetz and Chris Stewart, and Senators Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee have called on the Obama administration to keep Syrian refugees out, at least until a thorough vetting process is in place.

Asked about more hard line opponents of Syrian refugees, Herbert played down the differences, suggesting that everyone involved is closer on the substance than their talk suggests.

"I think it's easy to have a lot of rhetoric, get the political headline and not have much substance behind it. We need to analyze what we can do," Herbert said.


  • victims rights

    Governor, get a back bone. Stick up for us Utah citizens. The other states care about the safety of their people. Say NO right now to the refugees. You or no one else can not tell which ones are terrorists. If you let them in and something bad happens, it will be your fault. Protect our families please. Just stand up for the people here and say NO. Do not let the president, the church, politics or money to put our people in possible danger. I admire all of the other governors who already had said No, they care about their people. It is your turn to care about us Utah citizens and keep us safe.

    • ed mclaughlin

      All of these Republican governors, evidently utterly naive as to the protocols for screening potential refugees into their states for years….until ISIL bombed Paris. How ridiculous they are. And still they claim they have no idea at all how well these people are being screened.


    We will tolerate more drugs, crime, more welfare cases, higher health costs, not to mention higher risks to public safety.
    We will get cheap labor for the Utah businesses!

  • S Jan

    Herbert, what are your true motives here? What association is influencing your decision? There are already headlines that we’ve “lost” so called refugees; authorities don’t know where they’re hiding; obviously more terrorists! And you want to welcome this scenario with open arms! We have enough problems here with another element that has been allowed to proliferate throughout the state, causing drug and human trafficking, thefts, murders, etc. Bottom line, who is strong-arming you to make these wrong decisions? When it all “hits the fan” in a greater magnitude, people will get scared and businesses will start shutting down unless you nip this in the bud right now.


      Shouldn’t you be asking these questions to our Commander and Chief? You seem a little mixed up on how things operate in our Country?

  • TruthSeeker

    Hey, Governor Herbert, your first and most important responsibility is to protect the citizens of Utah from harm. Clearly, refugees have committed terrorist acts in America already. Why are you not stepping up, like all the other GOP governors in America, to stop the refugees from coming here at least until they can be fully, and properly vetted and their backgrounds investigated? We all know that despite Obama’s claim that they will be vetted and investigated, that is an outright lie. Syria lacks a database wherein their refugees can be vetted and investigated, so it’s time for you to deny Obama his desire to bring them here.


      Wouldn’t you think Obama would have some responsibility for who he allows to enter our country? Why stick Utah’s Governor with the blame? We as a nation elected the guy from Chicago to run our country. Somebody must be confortable with the way he’s running it.

      • Kyle

        a majority of the state did not elect him. 30 of the states voted differently he was chosen by the east and west coast. and not 32 of the states choose not to have refugees in there states so how is this just. I for one am sick and tired of having my way of life determined by California and New York. and the day that Utah Turns Blue is the day I move to Canada

  • ashleyp

    I have never been more proud or impressed with our governor. The best way to fight terrorism is through compassion, acceptance, and charity. The refugees are fleeing the same people we consider our enemy. Isn’t denying them refuge playing right into ISIS’ hands? Also, this is all spurring from one of the terrorists supposed to be a refugee. We do not even know if he was a terrorist and shouldn’t we let the dust settle and get more information before we make big changes? Governor Herbert has managed to not be reactionary and if he was a presidential candidate he would win my vote! He has won one passionate supporter over this issue.

    • Pedro

      The best way to fight terrorists is with jet aircraft and bombs….they care nothing about your compassion you idiot.


        I’m not totally convinced that Gov. Herbert has the authority to bomb the terrorists. And even if he did Pedro, Utah lacks the jet bombers to get the job done. So why are you focusing on Utah’s Governor instead of on our comedy in chief?

    • Ken

      Are you really serious fight terrorism through compassion, acceptance, and charity. as they are blowing people up and shooting them and cutting off there heads I am sure that compassion, acceptance, and charity will just stop them in you tracks. You have lost your mind if you believe this.

      • Lester

        I believe she’s saying not to allow terrorism to kill our compassion. If it does, the terrorists win. The best way WE as civilians can fight terrorism is by doing the things she listed. I don’t really see how you missed that.


      What’s on your resume oh learned one? Reminds me of the flea on the elephant’s tail trying to tell him he’s going in the wrong direction.

  • Crissy

    Wow you are no good. You are signing our death warrants bringing them here. I will stand up for this state. I will say NO!!! DO NOT BRING THEM HERE.


    In the last election Gary Herbert beat the Democrat, Peter Corroon, 64% to 32%. People who don’t like our Governor’s leadership will have another shot at winning in 2016. I wouldn’t bet the farm on Herbert’s opponent.

  • Dave Servati

    There is NO WAY of telling who is good or bad from a war torn country. There are NO records, NO identification or history of these individuals. They can show up and say “My name is John Smith” and we have no proof if that’s their real name. It would be a better solution to create a safe zone in their own country, or better yet in one of their oil rich neighboring countries looking the other way because they know there are some bad ones in the group. 1 more terrorist in this country is 1 too many! Please stand up for OUR state and country!

  • Terry

    Syrian crisis is as a result in no small part of the invasion of Iraq by US lead coalition and destabilization of that region, not all US’s fault but it is more than just a contributing factor. Germany, Greece and Turkey are bearing the brunt of the refugees some 100K in Germany alone, last I checked Germany and Greece did not invade Iraq. So good for Governor Herbert for not pandering to futile gestures of refusing refugees as Anotherbob rightly pointed out it is at federal level and state department that refugee acceptance is determined. So public opinion will swing back when we see another dead child plucked from the sea and we realize that the people in that region are suffering from our actions and normal US generosity of spirit will resume. As for what we do now there is no public stomach for another ground war in that region and no good options but lets be at least honest about it all.

    • Kyle

      Last I checked they were not chanting death to Germany or Turkey, but death to America and as we know they make good on their threats. I am ok if i am wrong because your family and mine will still be alive. are you ok if you are wrong and one of you family members gets killed by them. we only have to be wrong once in 10,000 people for hundreds or thousand of lives to be changed for ever. can you live with it. I can live with my choice.

  • Jack

    Herbert just lost my vote! He is acting like Obama, ” I know better than you what is best for you.” Let’s kick him to the curb.


      But who’s to do the kicking Jack? He beat the best the Democrats could offer in the last election 64% to 32%. Who knows Jack? Maybe you can get Ralph Becker to throw his hat into the ring.

  • SB

    The Trolly Square shooter was a Bosnian refugee. One of the french shooters was also a “refugee.” You’re putting Utah life’s in danger, and I can promise you the refugee’s would be much happier in a different state.

  • Earl

    Perhaps you are technically correct Governor…however if all of you stand against this dangerous situation, ensuring Mr. Obama knows you will use you position to flood Utah’s media with information I think he will back down. Their political influence is tempered by an informed public. Stand with the rest of our conservative Governors sir.

  • alex

    Most of you commenting here are fools. The right thing to do, the Christian thing to do, is to help these refugees. Instead of seeing them as people–fleeing for their lives no less–you respond with fear and reviling. The reason you’re fools, though, is that you are responding EXACTLY the way that ISIS wants you to respond. They’ve already said as much. They want the West to declare war on all Islam, painting Islamic State as the true embodiment of the religion (which it’s not, something you would know if you ever had any real interaction with Muslims).

    So go ahead, tell these refugees that they are not worthy of your help, that they have no place here. Prove ISIS right that we hate Muslims and the only place the refugees have to turn to is indeed the Islamic State. Create more radicals, you fools.

    • Bill

      Why is it only Western countries that have to take in refugees? China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, etc., have taken in almost none. Of the 40 or so Muslim majority countries, only about 5 have taken in any significant number of refugees. There are probably several medium-sized or even small US cities that, by themselves, are taking in more Syrian refugees than all of East Asia. Why does the moral obligation always fall to the West?

  • Aaron

    Thank you Governor Herbert. You’re not holding out open arms, but you’re not jerking your knees and spitting hate either. You’re an honor for our state.

  • Bill

    I applaud Gov. Herbert for his bold moral stance. The only problem I see is that refugees, like the illegal immigrants Herbert also wants to accept, require lots of money to help. He should raise taxes on businesses and rich people to pay for them. I’m sure they’ll all be willing to put their money where their mouths are.

  • Webstac

    Take a look. Even one of the more right-leaning think tanks in the country agrees that refugees pose little to no terrorist threat to our nation. Your argument that somehow these suffering individuals present a national security threat is asinine and invalid. Let’s put an end to the fear-mongering. The most un-American thing we could do is to hide behind walls and abandon our values. http://www.cato.org/blog/syrian-refugees-dont-pose-serious-security-threat

  • #LetInTheRefugees

    Thank you Governor Herbert. Syrian refugees are running away from what we’re trying to stop, Daesh/ISIS. We shouldn’t turn our back on them but welcome them. Most victims of ISIS are Muslims. ISIS wants us to turn our back on them because they don’t want to see other countries help Muslims. We must help them and welcome them.

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