Chicagoist: Why U.S. Governors Shouldn’t—And Probably Won’t—Be Able To Refuse Syrian Refugees


In the wake of the horrific attacks in France which killed 129 people and wounded about 350 others, the governors of at least 27 states rushed to declare Monday they would no longer accept Syrian refugees, citing security concerns after investigators found a Syrian passport near the body of an unidentified bomber.

Many, including Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, said their states would “temporarily suspend” accepting new refugees pending a review of the security process by the Department of Homeland Security.

After making the declaration, Rauner and many of his colleagues were roundly criticized by several groups.

“Governor Rauner’s decision is an impulsive reaction that is a political exploitation of a tragedy rather than an effective security measure,” said Ahmed Rehab, Executive Director of the Chicago office of Council on American-Islamic Relations in a press release. “It gives a false sense of security by demonizing a population in need and plays into the hands of extremists groups hoping to alienate Muslims from western countries.”

Two other Chicago-based immigrant advocacy organizations also joined CAIR in expressing their outrage towards the policy statement.

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