Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb seemed to break with his boss, Gov. Mike Pence, on the issue of Pence’s move to block Syrian refugees from the state.
The comment came Monday during the second gubernatorial debate between Republican Holcomb, Democrat John Gregg and Libertarian Rex Bell. The primary focus was on jobs and the economy.
But the refugee question was posed after a federal appellate court’s decision Monday to uphold a lower court ruling blocking Pence’s directive to suspend Indiana’s resettlement program for Syrian refugees.
While he understood Gov. Pence’s reasoning for wanting to block Syrian refugees from Indiana, Holcomb said during the debate he would comply with the court’s ruling on the issue.
After the debate, Holcomb was asked what he would do if a court ruled in favor of Pence’s ban on Syrian refugees in Indiana.
“I would continue to allow the refugees to come in here and find safe haven,” Holcomb says.
Gregg slammed Pence’s policy both during and after the debate.
“It is wrong to ban people because they worship differently or don’t worship at all, or they look different from me or look different from you, or they come from a different ethnicity or nation of origin,” Gregg says.
Bell, like Gregg, criticizes Pence for trying to ban Syrian refugees from the state.
“When you take a state and say we have one nationality that we’re going to block, you know, I think that’s wrong,” Bell says. “We need to look at people as individuals.”
Bloomington was recently selected as a new resettlement site for refugees through a request from Exodus Refugee Immigration.