More than half of the nation’s governors have told President Obama they want no part of his policy to shove potential terrorists down the throats of unsuspecting communities.
In the wake of Friday’s attacks in Paris and the realization that at least one attacker masqueraded as a refugee to gain entrance to Europe, governors are demanding that Obama halt any effort to place Syrian refugees in their states. The Obama administration has said it will resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees next year.
“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,” wrote Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant.
“After full consideration of this weekend’s attacks of terror on innocent citizens in Paris, I will oppose any attempt to relocate Syrian refugees to Alabama through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program,” said Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley. “I will not stand complicit to a policy that places the citizens of Alabama in harm’s way.”
States whose governors oppose Syrian refugees coming in include: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin.
States whose governors say they will accept refugees include: Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.
Other states’ governors have not yet declared their intentions.
Despite the governors’ opposition, the states opposing the refugee resettlement policy do not have legal authority to block immigration, said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies. He noted that there had been increasing “pushback against the State Department’s heavy-handed attitude toward refugee resettlement” in regards to Muslim refugees resettled in various states without any knowledge of their possible terrorist activities.
“There is literally no way to screen refugees from the Middle East. There is no way to know who these people are. What are we going to do, call the Damascus police department?” Krikorian said.
On Monday, Obama said he will not back down from his support for Syrian refugees and downplayed security concerns.
“Even as we accept more refugees, including Syrians, we do so only after subjecting them to rigorous screenings and security checks,” he said.
However, Obama’s own administration has contradicted him on that score.
“We may have someone who is not on our radar and someone may choose to do something bad after they get here,” Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson has said. “We can only query against what we have collected, so if someone hasn’t made a ripple in the pond, we can check our databases until the cows come home but we have no record on that person.”
h/t: Los Angeles Times