Representative Chris Gibson yesterday joined calls by elected Republican officials for the United States to suspend the resettlement of immigrants from Syria within the nation, following the co-ordinated terrorist attack on Paris last Friday. One of the attackers, Ahmad al-Mohammad, has been identified by European authorities as passing through Greece last month in the guise of a refugee, with responsibility for the murders claimed by ISIS.
“The number one function of government is to protect its people,” says Gibson. “Initial reports indicate at least one of the Islamic State attackers gained entry to Europe with a fake passport as part of the mass exodus among those fleeing the war in Syria. The US should immediately suspend its Syrian displaced person support program until we know more about what happened in Paris and until we can assure the safety and security of our people.”
The United States is expected to allow at least 10,000 Syrian immigrant refugees to enter the country in the 2015 fiscal year, the State Department says. California, Florida, New York and Texas receive the greatest number of resettled refugees, with at least 30,000 each in the last decade.
Greg Abbott, the Republican governor of Texas, has directed the refugee resettlement program in his state to refuse to resettle any refugees from Syria and has written to President Obama to demand that the US as a whole does the same. His sentiments are echoed by the governors of Arkansas, Massachusetts, Michigan and Alabama.