Governor: Hawaii would welcome Syrian refugees

Published: Nov. 16, 2015 at 7:46 PM HST|Updated: Nov. 16, 2015 at 8:35 PM HST
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HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii Gov. David Ige says the state would welcome refugees from Syria with aloha.

Ige said in a statement Monday that Hawaii and the U.S. have a long history of welcoming refugees affected by war and oppression.

Ige spokeswoman Jodi Leong says it's too early to speculate on how many may come to Hawaii as the governor hasn't been contacted by President Barack Obama or his administration.

The governor says "Hawaii is the Aloha State, known for its tradition of welcoming all people with tolerance and mutual respect."

Ige says safety is his first priority. He says the U.S. accepts refugees only after conducting the highest level of screening and security checks.

Ige says Hawaii would work with the federal government to ensure the state has the resources to help refugees.

Hawaii is one of only seven states whose governors have said they would accept Syrian refugees following the terror attacks in Paris on Nov. 13.

Authorities say seven of the perpetrators died in the attacks, and one is believed to have been a Syrian who entered Europe via Greece with refugees.

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