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Feds propose giving states more info on refugees

White House official sends letter to Hogan, other governors

The Obama administration will provide more thorough information to states on refugees settled within their borders in response to a recent outcry from governors about the Syrian crisis, according to a letter the administration sent Monday.

Working through the National Governors Association, the White House is proposing to create monthly reports that would let state officials review the number of refugees arriving in their jurisdiction, broken down by nationality, age and gender.

"I am proposing establishing a new process through the NGA for the U.S. Department of State to accept individualized requests from governors for more regular access to refugee resettlement information," White House chief of staff Denis McDonough wrote Monday.

The letter, which was sent to Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and other state leaders across the country, is the latest White House effort to ease concerns about Syrian refugees following the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris. More than half the nation's governors voiced opposition to an administration plan to increase the number of refugees admitted.

Hogan's position was more nuanced than some: He called on the Obama administration to halt further resettlements in Maryland until he received more information about the vetting process. Since then, Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford attended a conference call with the White House and Obama officials have sent Annapolis a separate letter detailing how refugees are screened.

Governors ultimately have little power to stop resettlements in their states.

Prior to the Paris attacks -- and under pressure from some groups that felt the U.S. was not doing enough to address the refugee crisis -- the Obama administration vowed to increase the number of refugees to 10,000 from roughly 2,000 this year.

The letter proposes setting up a password protected website that state officials could request access to in order to review the monthly reports, which is similar to information non-governmental organizations already have and can share with state government. It would not name individual refugees.

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