The state of Alabama will not take on more refugees fleeing Syrian said Gov. Robert Bentley in a tweet followed up by an official statement Sunday night, even “after full consideration” of last week’s attacks in Paris by an Islamic jihadist group,
“I will oppose any attempt to relocate Syrian refugees to Alabama through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program,” said Bentley. “As your Governor, I will not stand complicit to a policy that places the citizens of Alabama in harm’s way.”
Bentley said he made his decision out of an abundance of compassion, rather than a lack of it.
“The acts of terror committed over the weekend are a tragic reminder to the world that evil exists and takes the form of terrorists who seek to destroy the basic freedoms we will always fight to preserve,” said Bentley.
“I will not place Alabamians at even the slightest, possible risk of an attack on our people. Please continue to join me in praying for those who have suffered loss and for those who will never allow freedom to fade at the hands of terrorists,” Bentley added.
The announcement sets up another battle with the administration of President Barack Obama, who is urging governors to comply with federal efforts to relocated displaced citizens from the war-torn nation which borders Iraq, Lebanon, and Turkey, which has taken in millions of Syrians.
The state has one U.S. State Department-approved refugee processing center, in Mobile. Neighboring states have processed a small number of refugees, but Bentley’s announcement this weekend means Alabama will not.
Bentley also said the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is working “diligently” alongside federal authorities to monitor possible terror threats, with recent events leading to an increased presences at large public gatherings.