Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley is not waiting for any kind of evidence. Just a hint of a suggestion that one of the people who unleashed terror on Paris on Friday may have entered Europe as a refugee is enough to make him take action.
“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,” Bentley said in a statement. “I will not stand complicit to a policy that places the citizens of Alabama in harm’s way.”
Sure, no Syrian refugees have been relocated to Alabama so far, but one of the State Department’s nine domestic refugee processing centers is in Mobile and it could theoretically happen. How Bentley plans on stopping the federal government from relocating refugees in Alabama is far from clear, but he seems determined.
And he’s not alone. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder also released a statement Sunday saying that the state would no longer accept Syrian refugees until there is a full review of screening procedures. “Michigan is a welcoming state and we are proud of our rich history of immigration,” Snyder said in a statement. “But our first priority is protecting the safety of our residents.”
Earlier in the day, deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said the United States was not halting its plans to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees in the current fiscal year. “We have very expansive screening procedures for all Syrian refugees who have come to the United States,” Rhodes said on NBC. “There’s a very careful vetting process that includes our intelligence community, our national Counterterrorism Center, the Department of Homeland Security, so we can make sure that we’re carefully screening anybody who comes to the United States.”