In the wake of deadly terrorist attacks that took the lives of at least 129 people in Paris on Friday, a slew of governors across the United States have announced that they oppose accepting Syrian refugees into their states. The announcements came shortly after authorities revealed that one of the suspects responsible for the grisly attacks was believed to have entered Europe amid the current wave of Syrian refugees, CNN reported Monday.
Governors of at least 26 states have declared that they will not be accepting Syrian refugees. All of them -- except for one -- are Republicans. States whose governors oppose the acceptance of Syrian refugees so far include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin. The only state on that list with a Democratic governor is New Hampshire, whose governor is Maggie Hassan.
In response to the Syrian refugee crisis -- which has been sparked by the country's civil war -- President Barack Obama announced in September that 10,000 Syrians would be allowed entry to the United States in 2016. However, the attacks Friday night in Paris have evoked fear in some states over security concerns, causing many of them to push back. The federal government has authority over admitting refugees to the country, but states can make the acceptance process more difficult.
U.S. Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana, a Republican who is campaigning for governor there, recently released an attack ad targeting his Democratic opponent, John Bel Edwards, that featured footage from the Paris attacks. "Obama is sending Syrian refugees to Louisiana & John Bel Edwards pledged to work with him to bring them here!” the ad’s Twitter caption states.
Governors in some states, however, have announced that they still plan to accept to Syrian refugees in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks. The Democratic governors of at least five states -- Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Washington -- each said they would continue to accept Syrian refugees.
"It is unfortunate that anyone would use the tragic events in Paris to send a message that we do not understand the plight of these refugees, ignoring the fact that the people we are talking about are fleeing the perpetrators of terror," Delaware Gov. Jack Markell said in a statement, CNN reported.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) also released a statement Monday in response to the growing number of states attempting to block Syrian refugees.
“Defeating ISIS involves projecting American ideals to the world. Governors who reject those fleeing war and persecution abandon our ideals and instead project our fears to the world,” the council said in a statement, CNN reported.