Republican governors vow to block Syrian refugees

Barack Obama
AP Photo

LAS VEGAS – Defiant Republican governors are demanding that the Obama administration suspend plans to resettle thousands of Syrian refugees in their states.

The state leaders charged Wednesday that screening challenges make it all but impossible to identify terrorists among those seeking refuge in the United States so soon after deadly attacks in Paris.

Governors from New Mexico to Michigan pleaded with the president to suspend the refugee program – at least temporarily. Republican governors from Texas and Indiana claimed the legal authority to block the federal resettlement efforts unilaterally.

Despite the tough talk, it may not be that easy.

The Refugee Act of 1980 dictates that refugee resettlement within the United States is managed by the federal government. Individual states do not have the legal authority to block refugee placement. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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