UPDATE: Republican State Rep. Sheila Butt is asking for her colleagues to sign a letter to Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam urging him to stop the state's relocation effort for Syrian refugees who haven't undergone a background check. Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsay and State House Speaker Beth Harwell have also called for a "moratorium" on the process, according to the Tennessean.
In New Hampshire, Gov. Maggie Hassan has joined Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte in calling for a suspension of the re-settling effort until a better vetting system is in place. Hassan is challenging Ayotte for re-election in 2016.
In Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker said his state won't accept Syrian refugees over security concerns:
In light of these horrific and tragic attacks, our first priority must be to protect our citizens. Along with governors across the country, I have deep concerns about the Obama Administration’s plan to accept 10,000 or more Syrian refugees, especially given that one of the Paris attackers was reportedly a Syrian refugee. In consultation with our Adjutant General, who also serves as my Homeland Security Advisor, it is clear that the influx of Syrian refugees poses a threat.With this in mind, I am calling upon the President to immediately suspend the program pending a full review of its security and acceptance procedures. The State of Wisconsin will not accept new Syrian refugees.There may be those who will try to take advantage of the generosity of our country and the ability to move freely within our borders through this federal resettlement program, and we must ensure we are doing all we can to safeguard the security of Americans.Furthermore, I am opposed to recently introduced legislation encouraging the state to accept Syrian refugees in Wisconsin.
UPDATE II: It's up to 15 states now.
UPDATE III: Make that 16 states now.
I’ve issued an executive order directing state agency heads to prevent the resettlement of Syrian refugees in GA. https://t.co/4b41tsIYcm— Governor Nathan Deal (@GovernorDeal) November 16, 2015
In light of the atrocious terrorist attacks committed by ISIS in Paris, there are a growing number of states that are rejecting relocation of refugees. Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan suspended relocation efforts over the weekend. Gov. Bobby Jindal followed suit, even though a few batches of refugees have already arrived in the Bayou State.
So far, sixteen states have refused to relocate Syrian refugees over security concerns, especially after it was reported that one of the Paris attackers was embedded with the growing tide of refugees flooding into Europe (via the Hill):
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley issued statements Sunday saying that they wanted to prioritize the safety of the residents in their states. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott; Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a GOP presidential candidate; Arkansas Gov. Gov. Asa Hutchinson; and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence joined them on Monday.
Alabama currently has a single refugee processing center, in Mobile, approved by the State Department, but it hasn't relocated any Syrian refugees, according to Bentley's office.
"The threat posed to Texas by ISIS is very real," Abbott wrote in a letter Monday urging President Obama to halt his plans, pointing to a foiled ISIS-inspired plot in Garland, Texas, in May, among other incidents.
"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," Jindal wrote in an executive order issued Monday.
"As Governor I will oppose Syrian refugees being relocated to Arkansas," Hutchinson tweeted.
"Indiana has a long tradition of opening our arms and homes to refugees from around the world but, as governor, my first responsibility is to ensure the safety and security of all Hoosiers," Pence wrote in a statement. "Unless and until the state of Indiana receives assurances that proper security measures are in place, this policy will remain in full force and effect.”
Today, it was announced that Gov. Charlie Baker won't accept Syrian refugees into Massachusetts until a better security policy is formulated. Right now, the FBI has admitted that they don’t have the resources to screen every Syrian refugee entering the country, and the cap for accepting refugees overall is set to increase over the next couple of years. The 70,000 quota will surge to 85,000 by 2016–and possibly as high as 100,000 in 2017.
Obama touts "rigorous vetting and security checks" for refugees that the FBI and DHS say don't exist— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) November 16, 2015
The vast majority of these refugees pouring into Europe are men between the ages of 18 and 45. Without a proper screening process, it’s a glaring national security issue–and one that should be taken seriously. Is it rational to leave us open to a possible terrorist attack? Is it flippant to adopt a wait and see what happens attitude with these refugees? I don’t think we should leave it up to chance. If a compromise should be made, then maybe the U.S. should just accept the women and children only.
Katie wrote earlier today about Obama’s shameful press conference, where our commander-in-chief literally said his disastrous ISIS policy is working. The president’s own military advisers have voiced their concern over his effete strategy to defeat an enemy that has shown it’s far from being “contained.”
Right now, it seems the mindset of Texas, Michigan, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Indiana, Arkansas, Alabama and Massachusetts is if the president isn’t going to have a rational security policy regarding these refugees, then we will.
I can’t blame them.