syrian refugees

26 States Refusing Refugees: Syrian Refugees Turned Away?

States refusing refugees have irked President Barack Obama and the State Department. A total of 26 governors have now formally announced that they will refuse all Syrian refugees to resettle in their state. Republican presidential candidates appear to be adhering to the will of the American people and stating that the influx of refugees pose too great of a terror threat to allow into the United States.

Less than 24 hours after the Islamic State terrorism in Paris, Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton said that she wants to allow 65,000 more refugees into the country. Texas Senator Ted Cruz plans to sponsor a bill banning the relocation of Syrian refugees in the United States, the Business Insider reports.

The Paris attacks are believed to have been conducted in part by ISIS fighters posing as Syrian refugees. Lawmakers from border states have long stated that illegal immigrants coming into the United States pose a national security threat, and have now been joined by their peers across the country when sharing the same sentiments in relation to the Syrian refugees.

Republican governors in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Massachusetts, and Texas were among the first to issue statements announcing that Syrian refugees will not be allowed to resettle in their states, MSN reports.

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

The Office of Refugee Settlement in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that 107 refugees were settled in Alabama in fiscal year 2014. A total of 36 of the refugees came from Iraq and 22 arrived in America from Somalia. Since 2011, a total of 381 refugees have been settled in Alabama.

Arab-American leaders in Detroit who advocate for refugees maintain that they understand the state governors’ national security concerns, but argue that the Department of Homeland Security conducts extensive security checks on the Syrian refugees. The ability to do such a check has been in heated debate, with some federal security agencies stating that they have no way to know if the identifying documents the refugees present truly represent their real identities if their fingerprints do not show up on a watchlist database.

“The United States should be a safe haven,” Dr. Yahya Basha, a Syrian-American advocate from West Bloomfield, Michigan, said. Dr. Basha has family members who are also refugees. He recently went to the White House to discuss the Syrian refugees issue. “We should welcome them.”

Additional Syrian refugees are expected to arrive in Michigan in the coming months, unless the governor can halt the resettlement plans by the State Department. Louisiana has reportedly accepted 14 Syrian refugees. The Obama administration has also resettled refugees in Atlanta, Memphis, and Nashville.

Indiana Governor Mike Pence issued a statement refusing refugees, which said his state has a “long tradition of opening our arms and homes to refugees from around the world but, as governor, my first responsibility is to ensure the safety and security of all Hoosiers. Unless and until the state of Indiana receives assurances that proper security measures are in place, this policy will remain in full force and effect.”

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley also said his state would not accept any more Syrian refugees. Governor Bentley also said he would not “place Alabamians at even the slightest possible risk of an attack on our people.”

Florida Governor Rick Scott wrote a letter to Congress asking the governing body to deny federal funding to support the 425 Syrian refugees his state has been asked to resettle. By “federal funding,” the governor means revenue generated by American workers via taxes.

“More importantly, it is our understanding that the state does not have the authority to prevent the federal government from funding the relocation of these Syrian refugees to Florida even without state support,” Governor Scott wrote.

The United States has allowed 1,854 Syrian refugees to come to the United States since September. The Obama administration reportedly plans to allow 100,000 refugees to resettle in America.

[Photo by Peter Dejong / AP]

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