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Georgia Governor Nathan Deal refuses refugees

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (Photo Source: georgia.gov and YouTube)

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (Photo Source: georgia.gov and YouTube)

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has joined the growing list of governors who are opposed to accepting Syrian refugees in their state. Gov. Deal issued the following statement today:
“In light of the terror attacks in Paris, I’ve issued an executive order directing state agency heads to prevent the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Georgia,” said Deal. “Further, I call upon the Obama administration to work with the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security to confirm the backgrounds of the 59 Syrian refugees recently resettled to ensure they do not pose a security threat to our citizens. Until the federal government and Congress conduct a thorough review of current screening procedures and background checks, we will take every measure available to us at the state level to safeguard the safety of Georgians.”

Despite the announcement by Deal, no governor has the power to refuse refugees. The US Supreme Court ruled in Hines v. Daviowitz that “the supremacy of the national power in the general field of foreign affairs, including power over immigration, naturalization and deportation, is made clear by the Constitution.” In addition, President Obama has statutory authorization to accept refugees under the Refugee Act of 1980. Under this authority, the President can admit refugees who face “persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion” into the United States. The action of the President is further enforced if it is determined that there is an “unforeseen emergency refugee situation.”