Governor says Kansas pulling out of refugee funding program

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Gov. Sam Brownback says Kansas is withdrawing from the federal government’s refugee resettlement program because of safety concerns.

Brownback announced Tuesday that he notified President Barack Obama’s administration of his decision.

Brownback’s move means Kansas will reject federal funds to provide cash and health care coverage to any refugees who resettle in Kansas. The federal aid amounts to between $1.6 million and $1.8 million annually.

But Executive Director Micah Kubic of the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas says the move is largely symbolic because federal officials probably will find another group to run the program in Kansas. He said the state also can’t prevent refugees from coming.

Brownback said Tuesday that federal officials haven’t given him adequate assurances that refugees are being screened thoroughly enough to protect communities.

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