Rick Scott Doesn't Want Florida to Take in Syrian Refugees
Photo by Michele Eve Sandberg
Rick Scott has asked Congress to keep about 425 Syrian refugees from being located to Florida. The Sunshine State is joining Alabama, Michigan, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Indiana, Illinois, and Massachusetts as states that have come out and said they will not be taking in Syrian refugees in the wake of last Friday's terrorist attacks in Paris.
Scott acknowledges that the state doesn't have the authority to keep the federal government from funding a relocation to the state, so he's turned to the U.S. Congress to take action to keep the Obama administration from doing so.
In a letter addressed to House Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Scott cites the Paris attacks as why Florida should not be taking in the refugees, per requests made by several organizations to the state's Department of Children and Families.
"Following the terrorist attacks by ISIS in Paris that killed over 120 people and wounded more than 350, and the news that at least one of the terror attack suspects gained access to France by posing as a Syrian refugee, our state agency will not support the requests we have received," part of the letter reads.
Back in September, the United States pledged to take in roughly 15,000 Syrian refugees fleeing their war-torn country, with an estimated 85,000 in total expected to settle in the United States in the next year. According to some estimates, more than 4 million Syrians have been displaced by war.
But the Paris attacks are now being used as a reason to turn away the refugees, as it has been learned that one of the terrorists involved in that attack had been carrying a Syrian passport. Some have concluded that he may have entered Europe as a refugee. There is also news that the alleged mastermind of the attack, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, may have gone into Syria this year.
Not only is Scott not taking in refugees but he is also asking Congress to keep President Obama from spending federal money to take in more refugees,
In his letter, Scott asks Congress "to take immediate action to prevent President Obama and his administration from using any federal tax dollars to fund the relocation of up to 425 Syrian refugees to Florida or anywhere else in the United States, without an extensive evaluation of the risk these individuals may pose to national security."
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On Sunday, presidential candidate Marco Rubio said just as much, telling ABC News' George Stephanopoulos he's opposed to the United States taking in more refugees.
"It’s not that we don’t want to; it’s that we can’t," Rubio said Sunday.
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