WASHINGTON, D.C—Today, Congressman Ted Poe, Chairman of the Terrorism Subcommittee introduced H.R.4032 The States’ Right of Refugee Refusal Act. This bill will amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to ensure that States have the right to refuse to participate in the Refugee Resettlement program if their Governor chooses to opt out. Right now, the Refugee Resettlement Act only permits consultation with the States, but it does not give the States the right to refuse.
“In the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks over half of State governors including Governor Abbott of Texas have told the Administration that they will not accept Syrian refugees. One of the Paris attackers was disguised as a Syrian refugee, so governors are concerned about bringing thousands of Syrians into their states.
Current federal law does not clearly give governors the absolute right to refuse. This matter will end up being fought in long court battles if Congress does not act to clarify the law. ISIS has threatened to attack our homeland. We should believe them. The Director of the FBI even stated that he does not believe we have enough resources to screen the refugees. We should allow state governors to take action to protect their citizens.”