After Paris attacks, 27 US governors say no to Syrian refugees

  • Yashwant Raj, Hindustan Times, Washington/New Delhi
  • Updated: Nov 18, 2015 13:09 IST
Governor Bobby Jindal (Reuters Photo)

As security was stepped up all across the US, and the nation’s capital specifically cited as a target by Islamic State, governors of 27 states announced they will not accept Syrian refugees.

Among the 27 were Indian-American governors Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley.

Heavy security presence was seen all over Washington DC — in the subway system, around national monuments and airports, where passengers noted unprecedented screening.

The Washington DC metro system on Monday said it had introduced random screening of all bags and packages, intensified patrolling and increased K9 (canine units) sweeps.

Watch | After Paris attacks, 27 US governors object to refugee resettlement

Security at other transportation systems, such as the inter-city Amtrak rail network and New York’s subway was also beefed up, those agencies have announced.

Islamic State on Monday had threatened Paris-like attacks in countries that are participating in the airstrikes against them in Syria and Iraq. It cited Washington DC as a specific target.

As security was being stepped up, governors of more than half of the states announced they are not taking chances, and their states will not accept Syrian refugees.

“I just signed an Executive Order instructing state agencies to take all available steps to stop the relocation of Syrian refugees to LA (Louisiana),” Jindal said in a tweet on Monday.

Haley told the State Department not to settle refugees in her state, South Carolina, “until I can be assured that all potential refugees from Syria have no ties to terrorist organisations”.

The US has accepted only 1,500 refugees from Syria since 2011, but it will take 10,000 more by the end of next year, according to a recent announcement.

Concerns have since been raised about terrorists slipping into the country as refugees, which have intensified since the incidents in Paris on Friday night.

Screening procedures, many believe, are not stringent enough. Republican congressman Peter King has said “there’s no responsible way to do the vetting” currently.

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