Pence met with Archbishop Tobin for an hour to discuss the matter, saying that he respectfully disagreed with the proposal to resettle a Syrian family in Indiana. While Archbishop Tobin said he "prayerfully considered" Pence's security concerns, he moved ahead with resettling the Syrian family in Indiana.
According to Crux, an aide to Pence said at the time that Pence hoped the people of Indiana would welcome the family, despite his objections. Pence also said on Twitter at the time that Donald Trump's proposal to block all Muslims refugees from the United States was "offensive."
Under the 1980 Refugee Act, the president determines how many refugees to admit into the United States each year based on humanitarian or other concerns or needs. In 2016, President Obama set the number at 85,000, including 10,000 Syrians.
In late August of this year, the United States met its goal and admitted the 10,000th Syrian refugee, bringing the total number of Syrian refugees to 12,000 since the country's civil war began five years ago.
Authorities say that of all refugees, Syrians must undergo the most intense screening process available in order to be approved to enter the United States; a process that typically takes between a year and a half to two years.
The Syrian civil war began in March 2011 with demonstrations against Assad. The war has claimed the lives of more than 280,000 people, and forced 4.8 million to become refugees. Another 8 million Syrians are believed to have been internally displaced by the violence. Approximately half of the displaced are Syrian children.
The already dire situation in Syria has only worsened in recent days and weeks as an attempted ceasefire collapsed and other diplomatic efforts failed.
Catholic leaders in the city, including Archbishop Jean-Clement Jeanbart of Aleppo, have made continual appeals to the international faith community for prayers and humanitarian aid.