After Paris Attacks, Governors Refuse to Accept Syrian Refugees

Mary Troyan, USA Today, November 16, 2015

At least 12 governors say they will not accept Syrian refugees in their states in response to Friday’s attacks in Paris.

The Republican governors–in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Massachusetts,  North Carolina, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin–are concerned that resettlement could open the doors to terrorists.

“There may be those who will try to take advantage of the generosity of our country and the ability to move freely within our borders through this federal resettlement program, and we must ensure we are doing all we can to safeguard the security of Americans,” Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said.

In Louisiana, Gov. Bobby Jindal tweeted that, “I just signed an Executive Order instructing state agencies to take all available steps to stop the relocation of Syrian refugees to LA.”


Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson issued a statement saying the plan to resettle Syrian refugees in the United States is “is not the right strategy.”

Despite such reactions, President Obama is continuing with plans to accept refugees from Syria. Responding to calls to admit Christians but not Muslims into the country, he said, “That’s shameful. That’s not American, it’s not who we are.”

“We don’t have religious tests to our compassion,” he said, speaking from the G20 summit in Antalya, Turkey.

But Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a letter to the president that, “Neither you nor any federal official can guarantee that Syrian refugees will not be part of any terroristic activity. As such, opening our door to them irresponsibly exposes our fellow Americans to unacceptable peril.”


Michigan had been actively working to attract Syrian refugees to the state, but Gov. Rick Snyder said Monday he is suspending that program. He has not said he will refuse to let refugees into the state.

“Michigan is a welcoming state and we are proud of our rich history of immigration,” Snyder said in the statement. “But our first priority is protecting the safety of our residents.”


{snip} The United States accepted 1,854 Syrian refugees through September; more than 10 times as many have been admitted from Myanmar. The Obama administration has indicated that it plans to increase that number to 100,000 by 2017, which human rights advocates call inadequate to address the depths of the crisis. {snip}


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