Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is bllocking the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Louisiana.
With his executive order, Jindal joins other Republican governors Rick Snyder of Michigan, Mike Pence of Indiana, Robert Bently of Alabama and Greg Abbott of Texas in halting the acceptance of refugees in the wake of the Paris radical Islamic terrorist attacks Friday.
In his executive order, titled “Protecting Louisiana Amid Obama Administration Plans For Resettlement of Syrian Refugees,” Jindal states:
WHEREAS, Article IV, Section 5 the Louisiana Constitution establishes the governor as the chief executive officer of the State and during times of emergency or the threat of emergency, the governor has emergency powers to protect the citizens and property of the State of Louisiana;
WHEREAS, when the threat of an emergency is foreseeable, it is prudent to implement common sense, precautionary measures to prevent the occurrence of the emergency and eliminate the need to trigger emergency legal authorities;
WHEREAS, on Friday night, November 13, 2015, more than 120 people were killed and over 350 others wounded in a series of terrorist attacks in Paris, France;
WHEREAS, these attacks were conducted by Islamic extremists, at least one of them a recent Syrian refugee, and the radical terrorist Islamic State (ISIS) soon claimed responsibility;
WHEREAS, the State of Louisiana has been denied critical information by the federal government regarding Syrian refugees already relocated into this state, creating an untenable situation;
WHEREAS, it is foreseeable that the introduction of Syrian refugees into the United States without proper prior screening and follow-up monitoring could result in a threat to the citizens and property of this State.
Jindal – a 2016 GOP presidential contender – then issued his order that “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.
Additionally, he ordered Louisiana State Police to “monitor” any Syrian refugees already in the state in order to avert any potential threats.
Jindal had previously sent a letter to President Obama demanding information about the Syrian refugees already entering Louisiana through New Orleans. He particularly demanded to know the level of background screening conducted on the Syrian refugees, and whether “all Syrian refugees seeking relocation in the United States will now be cleared by the Terrorist Screening Center.”
Louisiana is in the midst of a run-off gubernatorial election between Sen. David Vitter (R) and state House Minority Leader John Bel Edwards (D). Vitter referred to Obama’s plan to increase the number of Syrian refugees as “outrageous and irresponsible,” while Edwards seemed to take both sides of the issue on Facebook Sunday evening.
Edwards said that, as governor, he would want Louisiana “to be an active participant in the ongoing conversation with federal authorities so that we can be partners in the effort to both accommodate refugees who are fleeing from religious persecution and ensure that all our people are safe.”
Obama criticized Republicans for demanding the United States stop accepting the Syrian refugees.