Twenty-Nine Governors are asking President Obama to halt the Syrian refugee program, out of concern for the safety of their constituents.
There are currently 31 Republican Governors in office. Of these, 28 have said that they will not allow Syrian refugees into their state.
Governors around the country are concerned with Syrian refugees, in the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks. At least one of the Paris terrorists pretended to be a Syrian refugee in order to enter Europe and later take part in the attack Friday that led to the death of over 120 people.
On Monday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott sent a letter to President Obama saying that his state will not accept Syrian refugees.
“Neither you nor any federal official can guarantee that Syrian refugees will not be part of any terroristic activity,” Abbott wrote. “As such, opening our door to them irresponsibly exposes our fellow Americans to unacceptable peril.”
“The threat posed to Texas by ISIS is real,” Abbott added. “ISIS claimed credit last May when two terrorist gunmen launched an attack in Garland, Texas. Less than two weeks later, the FBI arrested an Iraqi-born man in North Texas and charged him with lying to federal agents about traveling to Syria to fight with ISIS.”
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed an executive order on Monday allowing Louisiana officials and law enforcement agencies to prevent Syrian refugees from resettling in the state.
One Democratic Governor has joined the list of Governors opposed to Syrian refugees.
New Hampshire Democratic Governor, Maggie Hassan, released a statement saying:
The Governor believes the federal government should halt acceptance of refugees from Syria until intelligence and defense officials can assure that the process for vetting all refugees, including those from Syria, is as strong as possible to ensure the safety of the American people.
The current Republicans who are open to allowing refugees into their states are: Utah Governor Gary Herbert, South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard, and Wyoming Governor Matt Mead.
Herbert’s office says: “Utahns are well known for our compassion for those who are fleeing the violence in their homeland, and we will work to do all we can to ease their suffering without compromising public safety.”
South Dakota’ Dennis Daugaard said he will not take a position since his state is not set to receive any refugees.
“South Dakota has not received any Syrian refugees, and we do not believe we are going to,” the Governor’s chief of staff said in a statement. “If that changes, the governor would explore the state’s options, but it is not at all clear that the state has any say over this.”
Wyoming Governor Matt Mead has not publicly express his stance on the issue and has not responded to multiple requests for comment from Breitbart News.
Despite the backlash, President Obama and the State Department said they will not suspend the plan to bring 10,00 Syrian refugees in the next year. On Monday, Obama said that rejecting Syrian refugees would be a “betrayal of our values.”