US governors threaten to ban Syrian refugees from their states

Published November 17th, 2015 - 08:00 GMT

A number of governors on Monday threatened to bar Syrian refugees from their states, following deadly attacks in Paris in which a militant posing as a refugee has been implicated.  

At least 19 state governors said they would close their states to the refugees. Those include the governors of Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin.

In Louisiana, Gov. Bobby Jindal, who is eyeing the Oval Office, became the first to announce his opposition when he tweeted Monday that he issued an executive order “instructing state agencies to take all available steps to stop the relocation of Syrian refugees to” his home state.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who has struck an unusually centric tone during successive Republican presidential debates, announced via his spokesman that he, too, opposes the resettlement of Syrian refugees within Ohio’s borders, citing security concerns.

President Barack Obama announced in September that he planned to accept at least 10,000 Syrian refuges by the end of October 2016.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said that the plan has not changed.

“The fact that many of these refugees from Syria, from the region, are fleeing precisely the type of senseless violence that did occur on Friday night in Paris,” Toner said. “Closing the door in the face of these individuals [would be a] betrayal of our values.”

More than 180 cities and towns across the US have already accepted refugees, Toner said.

The administration has stressed stringent vetting processes that will mitigate the likelihood that militants could make their way into the country along with the flow of those seeking safety from ongoing tumult.

“It's also important to emphasize that these refugees are subject to the highest level of security checks,” Toner said.

© Copyright Andolu Ajansi

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