They are trying but only Congress can do something……
Most U.S. governors have made clear they don’t want Syrian refugees in their states after the deadly Paris terror attacks, but only Congress appears to have the authority to stop President Obama’s plan.
And Capitol Hill lawmakers are moving swiftly.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday both called for a “pause” in the administration’s refugee plan, which includes resettling 10,000 Syrian civil war refugees through 2016.
“Right in front of us is a refugee situation that requires a pause,” Ryan, R-Wis., said on Capitol Hill. “Our nation has always been welcoming, but we cannot let terrorists take advantage. … This is about national security.”
He gave no specific details but said a task force is working on legislation, adding: “It’s better to be safe than to be sorry.”
A total of 30 governors, including one Democrat, so far have expressed opposition to the plan in the wake of Friday’s attacks, executed by at least one suspected Syrian refugee with ties to the Islamic State terror group and who perhaps slipped through Europe’s vetting process.
However, scholars and legal experts acknowledge that governors have little if any power to stop refugees from entering their states, citing the Refugee Act of 1980 which gives the federal government the authority.
“Immigration is a federal responsibility,” James Carafano, a national security and foreign policy analyst with the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., said Tuesday. “States cannot say, ‘You cannot come into this country.’ But they can say that they’re not going to part with state resources. They can do that.”
The White House said late Tuesday that Chief of Staff Denis McDonough hosted a call with 34 governors that included an “extensive” question and answer session among administration officials. Of the 34 governors on the call, 13 asked questions, according to the White House.
Administration officials also reiterated that President Obama’s top priority is “the safety of the American people.”
“Even as the United States accepts more refugees-including Syrians-we do so only after they undergo the most rigorous screening and security vetting of any category of traveler to the United States,” the White House said.
Ryan’s announcement followed a flurry of similar proposals from Republican senators, including at least two presidential candidates, following the Paris attacks in which 129 people were killed and hundreds of others were injured.
On Monday, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions called on Senate appropriators to cancel the “blank check” for overall U.S. refugee-resettlement efforts that would be included in a bill to fund the federal government after Dec. 11.
Sessions argues the overall plan calls for resettling at least 85,000 more refugees worldwide and “an unlimited amount of money to be spent on lifetime welfare and benefits … without a penny of offsets.”
He cited a Heritage Foundation study that forecast the total cost of resettling 10,000 Syrian refugees at roughly $6.5 billion. Sessions was joined Tuesday by Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., in calling for a provision in the “omnibus” spending bill to block the funding unless and until Congress votes separately to authorize it and offset its costs.