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Bentley Says No to Syrian Refugees

Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Sunday, November 15 Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) announced that he would oppose the resettling of Syrian refugees in Alabama.

Governor Bentley said in a statement, “After full consideration of this weekend’s attacks of terror on innocent citizens in Paris, I will oppose any attempt to relocate Syrian refugees to Alabama through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. As your Governor, I will not stand complicit to a policy that places the citizens of Alabama in harm’s way.”

Bentley said in his statement that the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is working diligently with the FBI, DHS and federal intelligence partners to monitor any possible threats. Law enforcement presence has been increased at major gathering events in Alabama to further insure the safety of citizens. To date, there has been no credible intelligence of any terrorist threats in Alabama.  The Alabama Political Reporter’ noted what appeared to be an exceptional number of police dogs outside the gates of the stadium at the Auburn game on Saturday.

Alabama currently has one U.S. State Department approved refugee processing center in Mobile. There have been no Syrian refugees relocated in Alabama to date, though neighboring states, including Louisiana have processed a number of refugees.

Gov. Bentley continued, “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. 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.” said in a statement. “As your Governor, I will not stand complicit to a policy that places the citizens of Alabama in harm.“

Many leaders including Congressman Bradley Byrne (R from Montrose) had been calling on ending the resettlement of refugees in Alabama.

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State Representative Chris Sells (R from Greenville) said in a statement on Sunday, “I am sending a letter to the Governor’s office asking him to take every possible measure to ensure that Syrian Refugees are NOT accepted into Alabama. Although I feel for the innocent people who are attempting to flee an unsafe land, the threat of terrorists infiltrating these groups and gaining access to our state posing as refugees is a risk we simply should not take.”

According to the U.S. State Department, more than 100 Syrian and other Middle Eastern refugees were slated to be housed by Catholic Social Services (CSS) in Mobile.

Syrian refugees reportedly were among the attackers in Paris that killed 132 people on Friday.

Written By

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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