More than a dozen US states say Syrian refugees are no longer welcome due to security fears after the Paris attacks. Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan said he was suspending the acceptance of new arrivals until after a review. Alabama, Texas and several other states issued similar statements but a State Department spokesman said the legality of this action was still unclear.
President Barack Obama has urged the US to “step up and do its part” to help those fleeing the civil war. “Slamming the door in their faces would be a betrayal of our values,” he said. “Our nations can welcome refugees who are desperately seeking safety and ensure our own security. We can and must do both.” The governors’ decisions come in the wake of the attacks in Paris which killed 129 people on Friday evening.
Seven of the perpetrators died in the attacks, and one of them is thought to have been a Syrian who entered Europe via Greece with migrants. Millions of Syrians have fled to neighbouring countries and to Europe, and the US has promised to take about 10,000 Syrian refugees in the next 12 months.