Arizona to halt all incoming refugees after Paris attack
Nov 16, 2015, 12:13 PM | Updated: Nov 17, 2015, 6:26 pm
PHOENIX — Arizona will halt all incoming refugees in the aftermath of the Paris terror attacks, Gov. Doug Ducey announced Monday.
“Given the horrifying events in Paris last week, I am calling for an immediate halt in the placement of any new refugees in Arizona,” the governor said in a press release.
Ducey called on the federal government to immediately amend legislation to provide more oversight in the placement of refugees nationwide.
“Our national leaders must react with the urgency and leadership that every American expects to protect our citizens,” he said.
Several states — Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi and Texas — said Monday they would move to stop the influx of Syrian refugees after at least one of the terrorists was linked to the troubled Middle Eastern nation.
The attacker had a Syrian passport, and the Paris prosecutors’ office said fingerprints from the attacker match those of someone who passed through Greece in October.
Millions of Syrians have fled to neighboring Middle Eastern countries and Europe, and President Barack Obama’s administration has pledged to accept about 10,000 Syrian refugees in the next 12 months. The U.S. State Department said the refugees would be spread across the country. Republican presidential candidates have criticized the plan.
In response to the calls from governors to prevent Syrian refugees from coming to their states, Lavinia Limon, president and CEO of the U.S Committee for Refugees and Immigration, said under the Refugee Act of 1980 governors cannot legally block refugees from settling in their communities.
Gov. Ducey attended a conference call for a governor meeting with the White House Tuesday. Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications Daniel Scarpinato said while Ducey appreciated being invited to the call, there are still legitimate questions about the screening process of refugees in the United States that he would like answered.
“Arizona is entitled to a formal consultation under federal law, and this conference call did not meet that requirement,” Scarpinato said in an email to KTAR.
At least 129 people were killed Friday in six terror attacks and 352 were injured in attacks that unfolded across Paris in the deadliest violence the city has seen since World War II.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.