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Ohio Governor Says Iraqi Refugees Not Welcome

After Downing Street: The following news brief ran on the Associated Press yesterday: Strickland Doesn´t Want Overflow Iraqi Refugees "O

After Downing Street:

The following news brief ran on the Associated Press yesterday:

Strickland Doesn´t Want Overflow Iraqi Refugees

"Ohio Governor Ted Strickland has a message for President Bush: any plan to relocate to the US thousands of refugees uprooted by the Iraq war shouldn't include Ohio.

The administration plans to allow about 7,000 Iraqi refugees to settle in the United States over the next year, a huge expansion at a time of mounting international pressure to help millions who have fled their homes in the nearly four-year-old war.

Strickland -- a Democrat who opposed the war as a US House member -- says Ohioans can't be expected to have open arms for Iraqis displaced by the war. More than 100 Ohioans have been killed since the war began. The governor says he has sympathy for the refugees' plight, but he won't ask Ohioans to accept a greater burden."

In fairness to Strickland, he later recanted his statement, calling it "inartful" wording.

Strickland said Monday that he was trying to express his frustration with the Bush administration and the Iraq war, which the Democratic governor opposed while he was serving in the U.S. House.

"It's one of those incidents out of many (when) I've said something inartfully and conveyed something that I did not wish to convey," said Strickland, elected Nov. 7 and sworn in last month. "I guess it means that when you're a governor, people seem to be interested in what you say, which is fine, but I think everything has a context."

Here's some context for Gov. Strickland: According to the UN Human Refugee Council, there are at least 1.6 million Iraqis displaced internally, and up to 1.8 million in neighboring states, particularly Syria and Jordan. To date, only 463 Iraqi refugees have been allowed entrance into the US since the war began.

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