Politics

More Than Two Dozen States Announce They Won't Accept Any Syrian Refugees Following Paris Attacks

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades
Syrian refugees in budapestSyrian refugees in budapest

Following ISIS’s attack on Paris which left more than 120 people dead, 25 state governors (and counting) have announced they won’t allow Syrian refugees to settle in their states, ABC News reports.

Though the majority of Syrian refugees are fleeing persecution from ISIS themselves, the pervasive concern is that someone linked to the terrorist group could enter into the U.S. undetected.

The governors of Michigan, Alabama, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Indiana, Illinois, Massachusetts, Ohio, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Idaho, Arizona, North Carolina, Florida, Wisconsin, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Georgia, Maine, Kansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina and Iowa have said they will not accept Syrian refugees without additional information.

"Given the tragic attack in Paris and the threats we have already seen in Texas, coupled with the FBI director's acknowledgment that we do not have the information necessary to effectively vet Syrian nationals, Texas cannot participate in any program that will result in Syrian refugees -- any one of whom could be connected to terrorism -- being resettled in Texas," Gov. Greg Abbott wrote in a Nov. 16 letter to President Barack Obama.

"Effective today, I am directing the Texas Health & Human Services Commission's Refugee Resettlement Program to not participate in the resettlement of any Syrian refugees in the State of Texas. And I urge you, as President, to halt your plans to allow Syrians to be resettled anywhere in the United States.”

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s announcement that Louisiana won’t accept refugees may be especially significant given that Jindal is running for president.

"All departments, budget units, agencies, offices, entities, and officers of the executive branch of the State of Louisiana are authorized and directed to utilize all lawful means to prevent the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the State of Louisiana while this Order is in effect," Jindal wrote in an executive order, according to The Hill.

Despite the concerns, the Obama administration plans to allow 10,000 Syrian refugees into the U.S. over the next year.

White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told “Fox News Sunday” that every refugee would be thoroughly investigated. 

“We had very robust vetting procedures for those refugees,” Rhodes said, according to Fox News.

“There are women and children, orphans of this war, and I think we need to do our part along with our allies to provide them a safe haven,” he added, according to The Hill. 

Sources: Office of Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas, Fox News, The Hill, ABC News / Photo credit: Freedom House/Flickr