LETTER: In Letter to President Obama, Gov Christie Says he will not accept Syrian Refugees in Wake of Paris Attacks

christie letterEarlier today, Governor Chris Christie sent a letter to President Barack Obama, notifying him that the State of New Jersey will not accept any refugees from Syria in the wake of the tragic terrorist attacks that took place in Paris last week.

In the letter Governor Christie makes clear that his chief concern in accepting refugees from Syria is the federal government’s failure to even notify the State of New Jersey, New Jersey’s office of Homeland Security and the appropriate law enforcement entities, let alone coordinate with the state and these agencies before refugees arrive in New Jersey. Coupled with the federal government’s inability to conduct the adequate screening of refugees coming into the country as FBI Director Comey testified to, the residents of New Jersey will not be made irresponsibly vulnerable.

A copy of the Governor’s letter to the President can be viewed here.


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  1. Finally the governor steps up to the President and doesn’t hug and kiss him and praise him like he did by hurricane Sandy. Finally a smart move by our governor.

  2. Just wondering…

    Under what authority does a Governor have the ability to refuse Syrian refugees? Governors do not have the power to dabble in foreign affairs nor do they have the ability to control people from entering or leaving their state. His defiance seems on its face to be unconstitutional.

    Christie’s ability to practice what he preaches aside, I think it’s sad that the myriads of Syrian refugees (who are victims of ISIS themselves) are now going to have to suffer because of the actions of the few. To assume that the refugees are any more likely o perpetrate acts of terror in their host countries overlooks the fact that previous attacks have been carried out by full fledged citizens! Now, I’m not saying we shouldn’t do our due diligence on who we accept- we should- but I don’t think that’s fair rationale to exclude an entire class of the suffering.

    I remember a certain event in the not-so-distant past that sent scores of innocent people running for their lives only to be turned away by the USA. I hope we don’t make that mistake again.

  3. Geshmakalypse- The Governor cannot deny refugees entry to the state, as you stated. He may, however, instruct NJ government agencies not to assist such refugees. The refugees are not citizens of the US and therefore not protected by the constitution or by anti discrimination laws (to my understanding).
    What baffles me however, is the Governor’s instruction to President Obama to urge other countries in the vicinity of Syria to accept such refugees in our stead. Are the lives of Americans more valuable than the lives of the citizens of Lebanon or other countries? Why should they accept the security risks posed by accepting Syrian refugees if we won’t? I don’t have a better plan nor do I consider myself educated enough on the matter to try to create one but this suggestion by the Governor is absurd.

  4. All the powers regarding this issue lies with the Federal Government and is enshrined in the Refugee Act of 1980. The Governor(s) have no standing and he/they know it.
    This is just political showmanship for the illiterate voters.

  5. To Zev – As I previously wrote to Gesmakalypse and as you correctly stated the Governor cannot deny refugees access to NJ. However, he can instruct state agencies not to assist the refugees. Read his letter, he makes no mention of denying refugees access to NJ. He mentions in the last paragraph that he instructed state agencies not to assist refugees and that he notified non government agencies who do assist refugees that they must report to the state all refugees that they assist.

  6. I’m amazed that anyone from a community which hails back to holocaust survivors can express misgiving over the president’s humane move. All the complaints against Roosevelt fall to the wayside if we aren’t at the forefront of advocating for these refugees. We are condoning the deaths of all the refugees who were turned back by the US and others during WWII by agreeing with those who want to reject the refugees. The best thing for us to do at this time is OPEN OUR HOMES to these refugees. Isn’t that what we expected from the world to do for our grandparents when the nazis were persecuting them?! We talk about “the world remained silent”. Are we any better now? Are we doing all we can to save them? Why should other people save us if when given the chance we are willing to join ranks with the “anti-immigration” groups? Those same groups which sent our brethren back to the gas chambers.

  7. To all the people speaking about opening our homes to the refugees….I haven’t made my mind up on the matter yet but what bothers me is that fact that Jewish and other refugees coming here during WWI and WWII times did not have terrorists possibly posing as refugees in their midst willing to cause harm to us at any cost.

  8. LKWD:

    Maybe the evil back then weren’t “terrorists” but the same argument can be made that “although most of the Jews fleeing Europe are good people, some might really be only posing as Jews and are really Nazi spies.”

    If your looking for a pretext to keep refugees out, you will always be able to find one.

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