TALLAHASSEE -- The White House pledged Monday to be more transparent with Florida Gov. Rick Scott and other governors about the vetting and resettlement of Syrian refugees, but said the relocation program will continue.
White House chief of staff Denis McDonough says in letters to all 50 governors that upon receiving a governor's request, the State Department would send back a "tailored report" on refugees resettled in the last month and throughout the year so far.
Last month, Scott asked President Barack Obama and the White House not to place any additional Syrian refugees in Florida.
That request was denied. A little more than 100 Syrian refugees have been relocated to the state this year. More than half of those have been placed in the Bay area with 34 in Tampa, 20 in Clearwater and four in Zephyrhills.
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Scott and other governors have argued it has been impossible to background check all of the refugees and that individual states are not able to track them once they've been placed.
The White House recently responded with a letter, reading in part:
"Upon receipt of a Governor's request, the State Department would compile a tailored report for the individual state submitting the request," McDonough said in a statement. "The report would include information on refugees resettled during the prior month and fiscal year to date."
The information, however, will be limited.
It will only include the refugees' rough age and sex. It will not include name, addresses or any other information that would give away privacy or allow states to track them.
McDonough says the State Department would update the information monthly on a password-protected website.
The letter comes after Scott and many other governors said they opposed allowing Syrian refugees to resettle in their states in response to the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris.