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Nov 17, 2015 5:59 PM

Landrigan: Gov. Maggie Hassan's view on Syrian refugees draws criticism from both the right and left

CONCORD - "One of our great strengths is we welcome immigrants and refugees to the United States, to the Granite State and it has made us stronger.’’

Governor Maggie Hassan, under fire from the left and right for her stance against Syrian refugees and she sounds a different tone today.

Hassan says restrictions on admitting Syrians here should be temporary

"I am asking for a pause while the federal government reassesses and double checks its vetting systems,’’ the two-term Democrat says.

The state’s leading human rights group criticizes Hassan.

"We are deeply saddened by the governor’s decision to try to link the refugees fleeing Syria to the attacks in Paris,’’ says Devon Chaffee, executive director of the state’s Civil Liberties Union.

And the two declared Democratic candidates for governor disagree with her.

"It’s a much better way of keeping people safe than a blanket policy against one nationality or one religion that really won’t do much to keep us safe but will play into what the terrorists are trying to do,’’ says Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern.

Sen. Kelly Ayotte says Hassan merely parroted what she said on the issue.

"You’ll have to ask her what her motives are,’’ Ayotte says.

Another Republican member of the delegation says Hassan should go further.

"She needs to be emphatically clear I believe that regardless of what his policy is that New Hampshire will not accept any Syrian refugees in 2016,’’ adds Congressman Frank Guinta, R-NH.

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