More Than Half the Nation’s Governors Say Syrian Refugees Not Welcome

Ashley Fantz and Ben Brumfield, CNN, November 17, 2015

More than half the nation’s governors say they oppose letting Syrian refugees into their states, although the final say on this contentious immigration issue will fall to the federal government.

States protesting the admission of refugees range from Alabama and Georgia, to Texas and Arizona, to Michigan and Illinois, to Maine and New Hampshire. Among these 30 states, all but one have Republican governors.

The announcements came after authorities revealed that at least one of the suspects believed to be involved in the Paris terrorist attacks entered Europe among the current wave of Syrian refugees. {snip}

Some leaders say they either oppose taking in any Syrian refugees being relocated as part of a national program or asked that they be particularly scrutinized as potential security threats.


States whose governors oppose Syrian refugees coming in:

— Alabama

— Arizona

— Arkansas

— Florida

— Georgia

— Idaho

— Illinois

— Indiana

— Iowa

— Kansas

— Louisiana

— Maine

— Maryland

— Massachusetts

— Michigan

— Mississippi

— Nebraska

— Nevada

— New Hampshire

— New Jersey

— New Mexico

— North Carolina

— Ohio

— Oklahoma

— South Carolina

— South Dakota

— Tennessee

— Texas

— Wisconsin

— Wyoming

States whose governors say they will accept refugees:

— Colorado

— Connecticut

— Delaware

— Hawaii

— Pennsylvania

— Vermont

— Washington


Jim Lynch, a spokesman for Ohio Gov. John Kasich, issued this statement:

“The governor doesn’t believe the U.S. should accept additional Syrian refugees because security and safety issues cannot be adequately addressed. The governor is writing to the President to ask him to stop, and to ask him to stop resettling them in Ohio. We are also looking at what additional steps Ohio can take to stop resettlement of these refugees.”


Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant wrote on Facebook that he was working with the state’s homeland security department to “determine the current status of any Syrian refugees that may be brought to our state in the near future.

“I will do everything humanly possible to stop any plans from the Obama administration to put Syrian refugees in Mississippi. The policy of bringing these individuals into the country is not only misguided, it is extremely dangerous. I’ll be notifying President Obama of my decision today to resist this potential action.”


A senior White House security official attempted to allay concerns about the vetting of Syrian refugees.

On NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday, White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said, “We have very extensive screening procedures for all Syrian refugees who have come to the United States. There is a very careful vetting process that includes our intelligence community, our National Counter Terrorism Center, the Department of Homeland Security, so we can make sure that we are carefully screening anybody that comes to the United States.”

New York Rep. Peter King, speaking on Fox News, cast doubt on Rhodes’ comments.

“What he said about the vetting of the refugees is untrue. There is virtually no vetting cause there are no databases in Syria, there are no government records. We don’t know who these people are.”


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