New York City, NY (TFC) — In the aftermath of the Paris attack that occurred last Friday, a growing number of US governors have shown opposition to allowing Syrian refugees to settle in their states. In his letter dated November 16, 2015, Texas governor, Greg Abbott informed President Barack Obama “that the State of Texas will not accept any refugees from Syria in the wake of the deadly terrorist attack in Paris.” He further requested President Obama reconsider his position in accepting Syrian refugees into the United States, “anyone of whom could be connected to terrorism.”
In similar sentiment, governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal, has issued a state-wide executive order on November 16, 2015 that directed all agencies, offices and departments “to utilize all lawful means to prevent the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the State of Louisiana.” This of course, was after a prior letter was sent just two days earlier demanding information on the process in which refugees were accepted into the country.
On November 17, 2015, the Department of State held a press conference to reiterate their process in which refugee screening and admission is handled.
“We also have to remember that many of these refugees are fleeing precisely the same type of senseless violence that occurred in Paris. Slamming the door in their face would be a betrayal of our values. Our nation can welcome refugees desperately seeking safety and ensure our own security. We can and must do both,” said the unidentified ‘Senior Administration Official One’. They went on to inform the press that the screening that the refugees underwent was an “intensive security screening, and this involves multiple federal intelligence, security, and law enforcement agencies.”
Other government officials and presidential candidates have also opportunistically chimed in their disagreement with President Obama’s plan to resettle Syrian refugees into the United States which promotes and affirms the ever-increasing anti-Muslim sentiment already rampant in this country. The Muslim community is facing undeserved backlash in the wake of the Paris attack. They are being assaulted and threatened while mosques are being vandalized.
However, it seems due to a legal precedent, government officials’ disagreements and executive orders are moot. In the matter of Hines v. Davidowitz argued in the United States Supreme Court in 1941, it clearly states:
“that the supremacy of the national power in the general field of foreign affairs, including power over immigration, naturalization and deportation, is made clear by the Constitution was pointed out by authors of The Federalist in 1787,9 and has since been given continuous recognition by this Court. 10 When the national government by treaty or statute has established rules and [312 U.S. 52, 63] regulations touching the rights, privileges, obligations or burdens of aliens as such, the treaty or statute is the supreme law of the land.”
Each state has the legal obligation to uphold President Obama’s Syrian refugee resettlement plan.
Notably, France will continue their efforts to resettle Syrian refugees in the aftermath. French President, Francoise Hollande has vowed to continue accepting 30,000 refugees at a gathering of mayors from french cities that took place on November 18, 2015.