“In what appears to be a textbook case of xenophobia and political fearmongering in the wake of a tragedy, more than a dozen U.S. governors have declared their states off-limits to Syrian refugees in the days following Friday’s terror attacks in Paris.The leaders of Wisconsin, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Arizona, Florida, Ohio, Maine, Mississippi, Louisiana, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Texas, and Arkansas on Monday all pledged to stop or oppose any additional Syrian refugees from resettling in their states, following announcements made by the governors of Alabama and Michigan on Sunday.New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan was the first Democratic governor to join her Republican counterparts.
In a statement Monday, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the country’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization, decried the rolling announcements as “un-American,” saying those who reject refugees are allowing fear to overrun national ideals.”This un-American rejection of refugees, who will face significant security checks prior to entry, sends entirely the wrong message,”
CAIR said. “Governors who reject those fleeing war and persecution abandon our ideals and instead project our fears to the world.”Responding to news that Michigan Governor Dan Snyder would rescind his previous commitment to accept Syrian refugees into his state, Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan declared: “This type of behavior is the exact cowardice and capitulation that the terrorists seek to force out of our elected leaders. Instead of stoking the fear that drives his party to a frenzy, Gov. Snyder should do the right thing and show Michiganders that we’re a state that will accept responsibility as global citizens to do our part to help people in crisis and that we can do that in a way that is both safe and responsible.”Similarly, the ACLU of Florida issued a statement denouncing Governor Rick Scott for “blaming Syrian refugees for the very violence they are escaping.”