Blocking Syrian refugees from entering the U.S. in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Paris would play into the hands of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a House Democrat argued Tuesday.

In the days since the Friday massacre in Paris, for which ISIS has claimed responsibility, more than two dozen GOP governors as well as one Democratic governor have said they oppose allowing Syrian refugees to come to their states. Multiple Republican presidential candidates also want to impose a moratorium on the refugee program.

Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.), a prominent advocate for immigration reform, said denying refugee status to Syrians trying to flee from ISIS helps terrorists' goals when lawmakers respond "with fear, with chaos and with lashing out."


"This is despicable and cowardly and precisely the kind of reaction ISIS wanted," Gutiérrez said in a House floor speech.

"ISIS could not have written a better script. The free people of the world are turning their backs on people seeking safety and freedom," he said, comparing calls to halt the Syrian refugee program to policies in World War II.

"When we sent Jews back to Germany and when we sent Japanese to internment camps, we regretted it, and we will regret this as well," Gutiérrez said.

The House is expected to vote later this week on legislation preventing the Obama administration from implementing its plan to allow more Syrian refugees to enter the U.S. 

President Obama on Monday rejected calls to stop allowing Syrian refugees to enter the country following reports that one of the Paris attackers had a Syrian passport and entered Europe through Greece.

“Slamming the door in their faces would be a betrayal of our values,” Obama said. “We have to remember that many of these refugees are victims of terror. That's why they're fleeing.”