Florida House Panel Votes to Withdraw from Refugee Program

Florida House of Representatives
Posted at 1:45 PM, Feb 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-16 13:45:00-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Florida could withdraw from the nation's refugee resettlement program under a bill now moving in the Republican-controlled Florida House.

A House panel voted Thursday along party lines in favor of the measure (HB 427) sponsored by Rep. David Santiago, a Republican from Deltona.

The legislation wouldn't prevent refugees from coming to Florida.

But Santiago says he's pushing the bill amid concerns federal authorities aren't sharing enough information about the refugees coming into the state. Last year more than 62,000 people were resettled in Florida but roughly 90 percent of them are from Cuba, according to a House analysis.

The state currently receives more than $257 million in federal grants to provide services to refugees.

There is not a Senate version of the bill so it's unclear if it will pass.

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