In the wake of the recent Paris terrorist attacks, attention has been placed on the Syrian refugee population. French authorities have stated that at least one of the attackers entered France in October as part of the flood of refugees from Syria. The United States had previously announced it would also take many refugees from Syria and the first batch has arrived in the country.
Since 2012, only 1,854 refugees have been settled in the United States across the country. However the Obama administration has announced that it intends to allow as many as 10K refugees into the United States this year. The vast majority of refugees admitted so far have been single mothers and children, religious minorities and victims of violence or torture. These refugees have been settled across 130 towns and cities and now governors in some of these states are saying no more. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, himself a child of immigrants, sent a letter to President Obama.
In the letter, Jindal states:
“As Governor of Louisiana, I demand information about the Syrian refugees being placed in Louisiana in hopes that the night of horror in Paris is not duplicated here. In the wake of these atrocities, I also ask for details on the below:
What level of background screening was conducted prior to entry in the United States?
In light of the fact that some of those responsible for last night’s attacks held Syrian passports, what additional protections and screenings will be put in place?”
Jindal joins ranks with 24 governors in the United States who are now refusing to take Syrian refugees. These states are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Texas, Wisconsin, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Nebraska, Ohio, Tennessee, Kansas, Oklahoma, South Carolina, New Jersey and New Mexico.
In addition, Republicans in Congress are set to present a bill to cut off funding for the resettlement program. The bill calls for the Obama administration to adopt a “processes to ensure that refugee and related programs are not able to be co-opted by would-be terrorists.” The fear is that ISIL/ISIS will attempt to embed terrorist operatives into any group of Syrian refugees coming to the United States.