24 US governors oppose taking in Syrian refugees

17 November 2015

Following the Paris terror attacks, governors of 24 US states, Bobby Jindal, announced they would not accept Syrian refugees into their states.

All but one of the 24 governors are Republican, including Louisiana's Indian-American governor.

The announcement comes after revelations that at least one of the suspects believed to be involved in the Paris attacks that left 129 dead and hundreds injured, entered Europe with the current wave of Syrian refugees.

Falsely identifying himself as a Syrian named Ahmad al Muhammad, he had been able to enter Greece in early October.

Jindal, who is also a candidate for the presidency, went a step further than other governors and issued an executive order yesterday to prevent Syrian refugees from being resettled in Louisiana.

He cited a section of the Louisiana Constitution that said "during times of emergency ... the governor has emergency powers to protect the citizens and property of the state of Louisiana''.

Earlier in an open letter to president Barack Obama on Saturday, Jindal said Washington needed "to investigate what happened in Europe before this problem comes to the United States."

"It would be prudent to pause the process of refugees coming to the United States," he said.

Meanwhile, the US State Department has begun to subject Syrian refugees to the most intensive security checks of immigrants. 

"These refugees are subject to the highest level security checks of any category of traveller to the US," state department spokesman Mark Toner said yesterday.

"We think we can do this safely and in a way that reflects American values."

With millions of Syrians having fled to neighbouring Middle Eastern countries and Europe, US president Barack Obama had announced that his administration would admit at least 10,000 Syrian refugees in the coming year.

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