Michigan, Alabama, Texas and Arkansas have become the first states in the country to refuse to take in Syrian refugees amid heightened security concerns following Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris.
Govs. Rick Snyder of Michigan, Robert Bentley of Alabama, Greg Abbott of Texas, and Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas said in separate statements Sunday and today that their states would not be relocating refugees from the war-torn country until the U.S. Department of Homeland Security fully reviewed its screening procedures.
“Michigan is a welcoming state and we are proud of our rich history of immigration,” Snyder said. “But our first priority is protecting the safety of our residents.”
Nearly 130 people died in the coordinated attacks in Paris, and at least one of the attackers was carrying a Syrian passport, which has led authorities to consider he could have entered Europe as a refugee. The alleged mastermind of the attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, is believed to have slipped into Syria this year.