Editor’s Note: No, Tennessee IS NOT among the 15 states. Call Gov. Haslam TODAY (615) 741-2001
In the aftermath of Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris, governors across the United States are shutting their doors on Syrian refugees attempting to find a safe haven in the country.
As of Monday afternoon, more than a dozen governors announced their decision to block Syrian refugees amid concerns they could have ties to terrorists.
I just signed an Executive Order instructing state agencies to take all available steps to stop the relocation of Syrian refugees to LA.
— Gov. Bobby Jindal (@BobbyJindal) November 16, 2015
In wake of Paris attacks, I’m directing all state agencies to suspend the resettlement of additional Syrian refugees in IN https://t.co/Gtg5ccjMsU
— Governor Mike Pence (@GovPenceIN) November 16, 2015
The movement, which was overwhelmingly spearheaded by Republican governors, came after French prosecutors discovered a Syrian passport on one of the suspected Islamic State suicide bombers in Paris. That finding raised concerns that terrorists are embedding with refugees to enter Europe and other nations.
The series of attacks in Paris on Friday night left more than 130 dead and hundreds others injured. French President Francois Hollande called the attacks an “act of war” and launched airstrikes against ISIS.
President Barack Obama sharply pushed back against the growing number of states attempting to undermine his policies surrounding Syrian refugees, saying Monday at a press conference in Antalya, Turkey, that it would be “shameful” and “not American” to close America’s doors on Syrian refugees.
“When some of those folks themselves come from families who benefited from protection when they were fleeing political persecution that’s shameful,” he said. “That’s not American. That’s not who we are. We don’t have religious tests to our compassion.”
In September, Obama vowed to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees into the United States next year.
As of Nov. 3, there were more than 4 million registered Syrian refugees, according to the U.N. Refugee Agency.
Those issuing executive orders to block refugees pushed back on the president’s narrative while announcing their decision.
“Michigan is a welcoming state and we are proud of our rich history of immigration,” said Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. “But our first priority is protecting the safety of our residents.”
In a letter addressed to the president, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said, “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.”
While their responses send a clear message to the president, John Malcolm, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, said the practical implications blocking refugees are limited.
“Governors can certainly order state agencies to stop doing anything to assist federal authorities with their resettlement efforts, but they cannot stop federal authorities from continuing those efforts, nor can they stop immigrants who are lawfully admitted to this country from moving to and…