After the dreadful attacks in Paris, where 129 people lost their lives, the position of refugees fleeing from Syria has come under serious scrutiny. At least 18 governors—of which the majority are Republicans—have explicitly expressed that they do not want any refugees in their states. Governors across the US are persistent to ban resettled Syrian refugees from their states in the wake of the deadly terror attacks in Paris linked to Islamic State extremists.
“The first and foremost responsibility of government is to keep its people safe,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott said Monday. “We are working on measures to ensure that Texans will be kept safe from those refugees.”
The number of states unwilling to open up to Syrian refugees climbed quickly to 23 by Monday evening, following statements by President Obama that the US will continue to accept refugees and condemned attempts to stop those escaping violence from coming to the United States as “shameful.”
On Monday, Ohio Gov. John Kasich joined the push. The governor’s office spokesman Jim Lynch told FOX 8 News the following:
“The governor doesn’t believe the US should accept additional Syrian refugees because security and safety issues cannot be adequately addressed. The governor is writing to the President to ask him to stop, and to ask him to stop resettling them in Ohio. We are also looking at what additional steps Ohio can take to stop resettlement of these refugees.”
On Friday, in response to the inceptive stir of the attacks, Kasich before welcoming them. However, over the weekend, things took a new turn when in opposition to accepting migrants who are escaping Syria’s civil war and the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS. Authorities in France discovered evidence that one of the Paris attackers had come to the country disguised as a Syrian refugee. By Monday morning, Kasich said he opposed settling Syrians in the US, at least this year.
However, it should be noted that not all Ohio Democrats support Kasich’s statement. Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said her city would welcome refugees if the federal government asks, although she suggested it necessary that cities should receive “security guarantees” from the feds for each migrant. Northeast Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan issued a scathing rebuke of Kasich’s stance, saying the governor and other leaders lack courage to stand up to ISIS and “have caved in to their fears.”
Ryan cited the inscription on the Statue of Liberty and a Bible verse about welcoming a stranger. “There are no qualifiers on these statements that say to dismiss them if you are scared,” he said in a statement. “I, for one, will not let ISIS or any other terrorist organization scare me into abandoning our deepest principles as a country by turning our backs on refugees, especially women and children, in their time of tremendous need.”
Nevertheless, Obama is quite persistent with plans to accept refugees from Syria. Responding to the calls of some to admit Christians but not Muslims into the country, Obama said, “That’s shameful. That’s not American. It’s not who we are.”