Nashville groups ask Haslam to reconsider refugee stance

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Over 125 Nashville businesses, civic organizations and faith groups are asking Gov. Bill Haslam to change his stance on resettling Syrian refugees in Tennessee.

Haslam last week said he asked the federal government to suspend resettlement “until states can become more of a partner in the vetting process.”

On Tuesday, groups including the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee and the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition penned a letter to Haslam saying refugee resettlement will not make communities less safe.

“We believe it is morally reprehensible to turn our backs on Syrian refugees fleeing terror and violence,” the letter reads.

In a Monday speech to the Nashville Rotary Club, Haslam said Tennesseans are scared. But he also said he is learning the vetting process for refugees is “pretty good.”