Malloy: Connecticut will continue to accept Syrian refugees in wake of Paris attacks

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Hartford -- In the aftermath of Friday's attacks in Paris, several U.S. governors are threatening to block efforts to allow Syrian refugees into their states. But, Connecticut is not one of those states.

“We are continuing to work with and are awaiting guidance from the Federal government, Homeland Security, and ICE as they develop procedures following the tragedy in Paris," said a statement from Governor Malloy's office.

A spokesman for Gov. Malloy says Connecticut will continue to welcome refugees into the state who've gone through a rigorous security screening.

Devon Puglia said Monday the administration has questions about the Department of Homeland Security's screening measures for refugees entering the country following the deadly Paris terror attacks. Here is the full statement:

Obviously in light of the tragedy in Paris, we have questions about the Department of Homeland Security’s screening measures for refugees entering our country. We are continuing to work with and await guidance from the appropriate federal agencies on screening measures that will be taken. With that said, if refugees – many who are children fleeing a horrific, war-torn country – seek and are granted asylum after a rigorous security process, we should and will welcome them in Connecticut.

Several governors say they've temporarily halted acceptance of Syrian refugees following the deadly terror attacks in Paris. Immigrant rights groups, however, say states don't have legal authority to block refugees from being resettled.

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. Each state has a refugee coordinator, a post created as part of that law, she said. Funded by the federal government, the post coordinates resettlement efforts with agencies such as hers and directs federal funds for refugees.


A Connecticut interfaith coalition recently embarked on a plan they've dubbed "10 in 10." It calls for placing 10 Syrian families in each of 10 cities across Connecticut amid a refugee crisis.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered his state's refugee resettlement program not to accept any more Syrians. And he's urging the White House to scrap federal plans to accept more Syrian refugees into the country.

Fellow Republican Gov. Robert Bentley of Alabama said yesterday he would refuse Syrian refugees relocating to the state, since it would put citizens "in harm's way."

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal — a GOP presidential contender — said he wants more information from the White House "in hopes that the night of horror in Paris is not duplicated here." He's demanding to know how many Syrian refugees have been resettled in his state.

In Arkansas, Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson tweeted a statement today, saying he opposes Syrian refugees being relocated to his state.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder had been welcoming refugees to Michigan, which has a large Arab-American population. But he said yesterday that the state is postponing efforts to accept refugees until federal officials fully review security procedures and clearances.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said Monday the safety and security of the people of Massachusetts are his first priority and he would have to know a lot more about the federal government's refugee vetting process before allowing them into the state.

“I would say no as of right now,” Baker said. “No, I’m not interested in accepting refugees from Syria.”

The governors are responding to heightened concerns that terrorists might use the refugees as cover to sneak across borders.

Click here for more on the Paris attacks.