Hogan promises 'reasoned, careful' decision on Syrian refugees

Gov. Larry Hogan promised a "reasoned and careful" decision on what Maryland should do about Syrian refugees.

Gov. Larry Hogan declined Monday to follow the lead of more than 20 other Republican governors who have said they would not accept Syrian refugees in their state, saying Maryland would make a "reasoned and careful" decision on what to do.

Speaking at a news conference at which he announced he has been found cancer-free, Hogan said in response to a question that the refugee issue is one that his administration is "looking at very closely."

"We have been in contact with the Obama administration. We are going to make a very reasoned and careful decision about what we do here in Maryland," Hogan said.

While Hogan did not roll out the red carpet for the refugees from the civil war in Syria, his position was far less confrontational toward the Obama administration than those of the Republican governors of Alabama, Texas, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina and other states who said in recent days that they would not accept Syrian refugees in their states.

Among those vowing to block Syran refugees was Hogan's close ally, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who said the United State should not even accept 3-year-old orphans from that country. Hogan has backed Christie for president.

Another Republican presidential candidate, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, suggested over the weekend that the United States should admit Christian refugees from Syria but not Muslims. Hogan expressed no opinion on that idea.

It is by no means clear that governors who don't want Syrian refugees in their states will be able to do anything to block their entry other than tell state agencies not to cooperate. The Supreme Court has held that matters involving immigration are purely a federal matter, and U.S. law grants the president broad power to admit refugees.

Obama has taken a strong position in favor of allowing 10,000 Syrians fleeing the Islamic State and the war in Syria to find refuge here.

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