WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration plans to steadily increase the number of refugees accepted in the United States for the next two years.

Those fleeing Syria and other war ravaged countries whose claims have been investigated and who have been invited to live in the United States are considered refugees.

The U.S. will accept 85,000 people in 2016 and 100,000 in 2017, mostly Syrian refugees. More than half of U.S. governors object to plans to resettle Syrian refugees in the U.S.

 

Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has joined a growing number of Republican governors calling for the immediate halt of resettling new refugees until vetting rules can be reviewed and state concerns about the program can be addressed.

Otter stopped short of threatening to stop accepting Syrian refugees, like multiple other governors have done, and instead urged Congress to allow states to opt-out of the refugee placement program. The head of the U.S Committee for Refugees and Immigration says under the Refugee Act of 1980, governors cannot legally block refugees.

This is the College of Southern Idaho's response to Governor Otter's call for a halt to the program:

Currently, the United States handpicks the refugees who resettle here through multiple layers of security checks, making them the most thoroughly vetted group of people who come to this country. Security screenings are rigorous and involve the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, the Department of Defense and multiple intelligence agencies, including biometric checks, forensic testing, medical screenings and in-person interviews. The College of Southern Idaho holds community safety paramount in supporting the humanitarian efforts of the CSI Refugee Center, which currently accepts refugees vetted by the federal government in this way. The College of Southern Idaho Board of Trustees and administration support Governor Otter’s call for a federal review of the refugee vetting process and his request that Idaho’s concerns for safety be addressed as we welcome refugees and insist on national and local security through a rigorous review of procedures.