Gov. Robert Bentley of Alabama and Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas have both released statements claiming that their shitty states will not welcome Syrian refugees following the mid-November ISIS attacks on Paris, France. (Neither governor noted similar concern over the similar terrorist attacks in Beirut.)
“After full consideration of this weekend’s attacks of terror on innocent citizens in Paris, I will oppose any attempt to relocate Syrian refugees to Alabama through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. As your Governor, I will not stand complicit to a policy that places the citizens of Alabama in harm’s way,” stated Gov. Bentley.
Bentley’s statement is mostly jingoistic posturing. Up until now, according to Alabama’s Governor’s Office, no Syrian refugees have been relocated to the state, “though neighboring states have processed a number of refugees.”
“The acts of terror committed over the weekend are a tragic reminder to the world that evil exists and takes the form of terrorists who seek to destroy the basic freedoms we will always fight to preserve,” Bentley continued. “I will not place Alabamians at even the slightest, possible risk of an attack on our people. Please continue to join me in praying for those who have suffered loss and for those who will never allow freedom to fade at the hands of terrorists.”
How very Christian of him.
In Texas, Gov. Abbot has written a letter to President Barack Obama “informing him that the State of Texas will not accept any refugees from Syria in the wake of the deadly terrorist attack in Paris.” He further implores the President to block Syrian refugees from the country entirely.
“Given the tragic attacks in Paris and the threats we have already seen, Texas cannot participate in any program that will result in Syrian refugees—any one of whom could be connected to terrorism—being resettled in Texas,” the Governor wrote. “Effective today, I am directing the Texas Health & Human Services Commission’s Refugee Resettlement Program to not participate in the resettlement of any Syrian refugees in the State of Texas. And I urge you, as President, to halt your plans to allow Syrians to be resettled anywhere in the United States.”
As of now, Michigan governor Rick Snyder has suspended all efforts to place Syrian refugees within the state.
Refugees have been fleeing Syria in droves since civil war broke out in 2011. In that time, the Islamic State (now the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria—a.k.a. “ISIS”) has taken over huge portions of the country. According to the U.N. Refugee Agency, “more than 12.2 million innocent people are in need of humanitarian assistance.” Nearly half the refugees are children.
But—as Gov. Abbott points out—any one of the terrified, homeless families who’ve risked their lives fleeing their war-torn Syria could be connected to terrorism. Sorry, kids. Looks like you’re on your own.
For those looking to be more helpful and charitable than these particular governors, you can donate to the U.N. Refugee Agency here.
UPDATE: Here is the complete list (via CNBC) of states currently speaking out against the resettlement of Syrian refugees:
- New Hampshire
- North Carolina
Worth noting, halting refugee resettlement is NOT within a governor’s rights. As per the constitution, President Obama and the federal government dictate immigration policy, not state governments.
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