The recent Paris attacks have negatively affected views of certain states in the U.S. with regard to refugee resettlement, with some even saying they will not be welcoming Syrian refugees altogether. This sentiment is growing in number, with at least 19 states saying no to accepting refugees.
States such as Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas are now refusing to accept Syrian refugees for resettlement. Governor Robert Bentley of Alabama has signed an Executive Order that would direct state agencies not to participate in any resettlement activities for Syrian refugees. Meanwhile, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson had said that their state is refusing to accept these refugees as “Europe, Asia or Africa are logically the best places for resettlement or temporary asylum.”
Meanwhile, there are states who are saying that they are opposing the acceptance of Syrian refugees until such a time that security concerns will be further examined. These include Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Maryland, Michigan and Nevada.
On the other hand, states such as New York, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Minnesota, Montana, Oregon, Vermont and Washington said they will welcome Syrian refugees. Moreover, during a question and answer session with students at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said, “If the federal government lets refugees in and places them in your state, the Governor has no authority to turn them down.”
Meanwhile, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon is yet to indicate his state’s position when it comes to the resettlement. He simply said, “The screening process for refugees is the responsibility of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.” The same can be said for West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin.
Just three days after the Paris attacks, Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul had sent a letter to President Barack Obama for the temporary suspension of the admission of Syrian refugees in the United States.
Meanwhile, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright continues to rally for the acceptance of refugees into the country. She said, “USA should embrace refugees, not fear them.” Albright said her family came to America as refugees 67 years ago.