Syrian refugees are starting to arrive in New Orleans, LA. After the terrorist attacks by Islamic State in Paris on Friday evening, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal sent President Barack Obama a letter demanding answers about the refugees the administration is sending to his state.
The letter was also copied to Sylvia Burwell, Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services, Jeh Johnson, Secretary, Department of Homeland Security and James Comey, Director, Federal Bureau of Investigations.
The text of the letter is below:
November 14, 2015
The Honorable Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear President Obama,
In the wake of another round of appalling terrorist attacks, I write to express great sadness at the events in Paris, as well as my grave concern about the unreported diffusion of Syrian refugees in the United States.
Last week, the city of New Orleans began receiving its first wave of Syrian refugees. As with former immigration crises and federal relocation policy, Louisiana has been kept in the dark about those seeking refuge in the state. It is irresponsible and severely disconcerting to place individuals, who may have ties to ISIS, in a state without the state’s knowledge or involvement.
As Governor of Louisiana, I demand information about the Syrian refugees being placed in Louisiana in hopes that the night of horror in Paris is not duplicated here. In the wake of these atrocities, I also ask for details on the below:
What level of background screening was conducted prior to entry in the United States?
In light of the fact that some of those responsible for last night’s attacks held Syrian passports, what additional protections and screenings will be put in place?
Will all Syrian refugees seeking relocation in the United States now be cleared by the Terrorist Screening Center?
What degree of monitoring will be sustained after initial placement in Louisiana?
As Americans, we embolden freedom and opportunity to the rest of the world, but by opening up our borders and refusing to collaborate or share information with states, you are threatening that reality.
Mr. President, in light of these attacks on Paris and reports that one of the attackers was a refugee from Syria, it would be prudent to pause the process of refugees coming to the United States. Authorities need to investigate what happened in Europe before this problem comes to the United States.
Governor Bobby Jindal