GOP lawmaker proposes allowing governors to deny refugees

GOP lawmaker proposes allowing governors to deny refugees
© Getty Images

Rep. Ted YohoTheodore (Ted) Scott YohoHere are the 17 GOP women newly elected to the House this year Ocasio-Cortez after Yoho confrontation: 'I won't be so nice next time' Overnight Defense: US, India to share satellite data | Allegations of racism at Virginia Military Institute | Navy IDs 2 killed in Alabama plane crash MORE (R-Fla.) is pushing legislation that would allow governors to prevent refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria from resettling in their states.

“Until we can figure this out, governors of each state should not be pushed by the Obama Administration to accept these refugees,” Yoho said in a statement.

In the aftermath of last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris, more than half of the nation's governors have said they oppose the Obama administration’s plan to allow 10,000 Syrian refugees into the U.S. next year. 


However, the Obama administration has said that governors can’t legally block refugees fleeing the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) from resettling in their states. 

Still, White House officials stressed this week that the resettlement program requires support from local communities willing to accept refugees. 

“We don’t want to send refugees anywhere where they would not be welcomed,” one official told reporters on a conference call. 

Reports that one of the Paris attackers entered Europe by posing as a Syrian refugee has stoked concern about allowing people from the war-torn region into the U.S. The governors who have since come out against accepting refugees have expressed concern about potential security threats.

The House this week passed a measure preventing any refugee applicant from Syria and Iraq from being admitted into the U.S. until the government can certify that none of them pose national security threats.

“I don’t believe all refugees are terrorists, but we cannot compromise our security,” Yoho said. “We have a right to know who is coming into the United States and for what purpose. Until we do and properly secure our methods, the refugee program should be suspended.”